Hundreds gather for grand opening of Tina Turner Museum
BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — It was a day full of songs and celebration as the ribbon was cut to officially open the Tina Turner museum in Brownsville. It is in the old one-room building where Turner was once a student in the 1950s. It also is the school James Flagg’s great uncle founded. “I’m excited about the event because I never thought it would happen,” Flagg said. Flagg and his nephew researched the school for 11 years before giving the information to Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the Delta Heritage Center. Since 2011, Outlaw-Clark worked with community members to turn Turner’s former school into a museum. “We already have people from all over the world coming, and now they have another reason to come,” Outlaw-Clark said. For people like Flagg who attended church with Turner as a child and remember when she first started singing, he said the museum serves as a beacon of hope for Haywood County. “I used to think she’s a fool, she isn’t going anywhere,” Flagg said, laughing. “But now I’m a fool.” Organizers said the impact Turner has had on Haywood County will now be felt by many, thanks to the museum. Turner, who was unable to attend the event, sent a video message to supporters. The museum will be open seven days a week and is located on the grounds of the Delta Heritage Center.