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Ed Friend's Highlander Folk School film, 1957: Part 1

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Creator:Friend, Ed, 1912-1991
Title:Ed Friend's Highlander Folk School film, 1957: Part 1
Date:1957 Aug. 30-1957 Sept. 1

In this silent film taken by Ed Friend for the Georgia Commission on Education at the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee in September 1957, groups of white and African American men and women leave the Highlander Folk School library; an interracial group swims in a pond; and still photos show more integration at the school's twenty-fifth anniversary celebration. The film is in two parts; the first section, shot in color, shows the swimmers and the library and the second section shows black-and-white still photos taken by Friend.

The clip begins with white and African American men and women leaving the Highlander Folk School library. Some of the women wear skirts and dresses while others wear shorts; many of the men wear short-sleeve dress shirts. Among those identified in the clip is Aubrey Williams, a white man in a bow tie, who waves as he leaves the library. Williams had been the director of the National Youth Administration under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and at the time of the Highlander anniversary, was publisher of the Southern Farm and Home magazine. Charles Gomillion, dean of the African American Tuskegee Institute, also exits the library. Gomillion was influential in African American voter registration in addition to being president of the Tuskegee Civil Association. Later, Rosa Parks and Southern Christian Leadership Conference leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy walk out of the library together. The three from Montgomery, Alabama pause at the door and also pose with folk singer Pete Seeger and Charis Horton, daughter of Myles Horton. An African American man leaves with two white women and puts his hand on one of the women's arms. At one point a woman in a pink dress approaches the bicycle parked beside the library and wheels it away. An African American man, possibly Abner W. Berry, editor of the Harlem edition of the communist Daily Worker, uses paper to shield his eyes from the sunlight as he leaves the library. A white man, who appears to hold food and drink and is followed by a child, walks beyond the library. The section ends with a view of the library building. Next an interracial group swims in the pond. Several children splash in the water; many of the girls wear swimming caps. On the shore an African American man and a white woman walk towards the water from a bench. A platform anchored in the pond provides a resting place for another interracial group. Part one of the clip ends by again focusing on people entering and exiting the library. Several people stand near a station wagon with the slogan "Findlay Street Neighborhood House, Cincinnati, Ohio" painted on the side. Among those near the library is a pregnant woman who leaves the library with a man and another man who stands near the doorway with a clipboard. Several African American women in Sunday dress leave the library; others are seen wearing name tags. Rev. Maurice McCrackin, a pacifist minister and activist from Cincinnati, precedes a man with a camera who leaves the building.

Myles Horton and Don West began the Highlander Folk School in 1932 as an adult education center to teach the principles of self-organization and governance. During the 1930s and through the first part of the 1950s, the school focused on helping labor unions organize; about the time of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, the school's focus turned toward civil rights and integration. The school developed programs to teach literacy and help citizens prepare to register to vote through its citizenship schools. It was influential in training volunteers for the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. Long accused of communist connections, Highlander was shut down by the Tennessee state government in 1961. The school then moved to its current location in Knoxville, Tennessee as the Highlander Research and Education Center.

Title provided by cataloger.

"Integrated in All Respects" is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia in association with the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.

Types:unedited footage | moving images | MovingImage
Subjects:Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-1990 | Harris, Roy Vincent, 1895-1985 | Horton, Myles, 1905-1990 | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Williams, Aubrey Willis, 1890-1965 | Friend, Ed, 1912-1991 | Gomillion, Charles G. (Charles Goode), 1900- | Parks, Rosa, 1913-2005 | Berry, Abner W., 1902-1987 | Seeger, Pete, 1919- | Schneiderman, Harry | Helstein, Ralph | Walden, A. T. (Austin Thomas), 1885-1965 | McCrackin, Maurice, 1905-1997 | Activists--Tennessee--Monteagle | Adult education--Tennessee--Monteagle | African American civil rights workers--Tennessee--Monteagle | African American clergy--Tennessee--Monteagle | African American men--Tennessee--Monteagle | African American women--Tennessee--Monteagle | African Americans--Politics and government | Audiences--Tennessee--Monteagle | Automobiles--Tennessee--Monteagle | Bicycles---Tennessee--Monteagle | Blue collar workers--Tennessee--Monteagle | Camera operators--Tennessee--Monteagle | Civil rights movements--Tennessee--Monteagle | Civil rights workers--Tennessee--Monteagle | Clergy--Tennessee--Monteagle | Communism--Tennessee--Monteagle | Dance---Tennessee--Monteagle | Educators--Tennessee--Monteagle | Labor leaders--Tennessee--Monteagle | Labor unions | Lakes--Tennessee--Monteagle | Libraries--Tennessee--Monteagle | Newspaper editors--Tennessee--Monteagle | Photographers--Tennessee--Monteagle | Photographs | Race relations | Social integration--Tennessee--Monteagle | Social movements--Tennessee--Monteagle | Social reformers--Tennessee--Monteagle | Swimming---Tennessee--Monteagle | Youth--Tennessee--Monteagle | Monteagle (Tenn.)--Race relations--History--20th century | Southern Christian Leadership Conference--Employees | Georgia Commission on Education | Southern Farm and Home (Magazine)--Employees | Tuskegee Institute--Employees | United Packing House Workers of America--Employees | Men, White--Tennessee--Monteagle | Women, White--Tennessee--Monteagle | Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.)--Anniversaries, etc. | Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.) | Daily worker (Harlem, N.Y.) | Findlay Street Neighborhood House (Cincinnati, Ohio)--Employees | United States, Tennessee, Marion County, Monteagle, 35.2400807, -85.8396979 | United States, Tennessee, Grundy County, 35.3883667, -85.7225824 | United States, Georgia, 32.75042, -83.50018
Collection:"Integrated in All Respects": Ed Friend's Highlander Folk School Films and the Politics of Segregation
Institution:Digital Library of Georgia
Contributors:Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Original Material:

From the Ed Friend visual materials, 1918-1990, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

Rights and Usage:


Cite as: Ed Friend's Highlander Folk School film, Ed Friend visual materials, 1918-1990, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia, Athens, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Persistent Link to Item:https://dlg.usg.edu/record/dlg_efhf_efhf
Persistent Link to Item:http://purl.libs.uga.edu/russell/RBRL064EF-16mm_0003-01/video-access