|Agitators attack a sit-in demonstrator at Woolworth's lunch counter, February 27, 1960. |
Part of the Nashville Banner Collection at Nashville Public Library.
Summer 1961. The state began a several years' long 100th-anniversary commemoration of the Civil War that was heavy on the Lost Cause and Confederate symbolism, including a parade around the state Capitol by three Confederate cavalry regiments - one of which was made up of young boys on ponies making up the Kavalry Kadet Korps [i.e., KKK] of Savannah, Tenn.
August 1961. Seven years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, public schools in Williamson County were still segregated and a group of citizens in Franklin filed a formal request of the School Board for action to be taken. They also pushed for greater representation of African Americans on jury duty and in leadership positions in city and county government. At the time, Williamson County's population was about 25,000 people - about one-third of whom were Black.
This week, the Williamson County Commission (the modern version of the County Court that adopted the seal in 1968) voted to form a task force to determine whether or not there is “substantial need” to alter the Williamson County seal. The resolution calls for the nine-member task force to receive public input, determine whether there is a need to alter the seal, and study the various community impacts of such an alteration, reporting this information to the commission in September. The following representatives would comprise the task force:
- One representative of Williamson, Inc., (the Chamber of Commerce for the County) who shall serve as the chair
- Representatives of two families who have lived in Williamson County for at least three generations (at least one of which should be an African American family)
- One representative of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County
- One representative of the African American Heritage Society
- One African American business owner or manager, or educational professional
- One African American religious or community leader
- One representative of the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Williamson County Historian Rick Warwick
Should the task force and the commission decide the seal should change, the County's resolution includes a clause finding that it meets the definition of a "memorial" requiring the consent of the Tennessee Historical Commission to be changed. This is the same authority that governs the removal of Confederate monuments like Franklin's Confederate Monument. Therefore, a request would go before that body, where it would need two-thirds approval before a final decision could be made by the Williamson County commission.