Local families share stories at Farragut Black History Month event

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

Hughie Moulden has lived on the same part of Bluegrass Road since he was born in 1943. He attended primary school in Concord but rose before dawn each morning to ride a bus to Vine Junior High and Austin High School. He graduated from AHS in 1961, long before the school merged with East High School in 1968 as part of the desegregation of Knoxville public schools.

“There wasn’t much we could do about it at the time,” he says of the long rides to school.

Moulden’s four sons, who grew up on the same family property, attended Blue Grass Elementary School and Farragut High School.

The story of his family, along with the story of Helen Trent’s family, will be shared in the Farragut Museum as part of the town of Farragut’s Black History Month event on Sunday, Feb. 23. Moulden and Trent both provided oral histories that will be incorporated into a video created especially for the event. A reception and museum tours will begin at 1 p.m., and a presentation by former state representative and local historian Bob Booker is at 2 p.m. in the Farragut Town Hall board room.

For the past three years, the town’s Black History Month event has featured performances by Bright Star Touring Theatre. But this year, the Farragut Museum committee opted to present a program rooted in the history of the local African American community.

Members of Concord A.M.E. Zion Church, founded in 1872, will join with members of Concord Original Church of God, founded in 1918, to provide music for the event. Vanessa Cannon, who attends Concord A.M.E., is part of the group. The two churches have a long history of working and fellowshipping together. She’s new to the Farragut area, but she loves the congregation, which she describes as warm and welcoming.

Donna Davis, another member of Concord A.M.E., has worked with the museum committee to plan the event. She requested that staff re-hang a portrait of the Farragut Nine at the town hall. The painting, which commemorates the nine students who first integrated Farragut High School in 1965, was commissioned by the Farragut Museum Committee in 2010. The artist is Alan Jones. It is currently on display outside of the museum.

She also created displays of Black History books and famous African Americans in cases in the town hall. Photographs and newspaper clippings about local families and events are also exhibited in the rotunda.

Davis encourages the community to attend Farragut’s Black History Month event in order to better understand the struggles faced by previous generations.

“People should come because our forefathers worked hard to get us where we are today. They went through so much for us to be where we are, and we should want our children to be educated about it. The good, the bad – we’ve got to know the history.”

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut Insider.

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