UT Martin kicks off Civil Rights Conference

MARTIN, Tenn. — Monday kicked off the 20th Civil Rights Conference at University Tennessee Martin.

This year’s theme is Ordinary Heroes: The Struggle for Human Rights, and UT Martin has a wide range of speakers and panelists.

To kick things off, Jim Emison told the story of Brownsville NAACP member Elbert Williams.

The Brownsville NAACP was founded in 1939 with the goal of being able to vote.

Williams is known as the first NAACP member in the country to be murdered.

“And the murder was a success for the white perpetrators. It bought them another 20 years of all white rule. It was 1960 before an African American voted in Haywood County,” Emison said.

Now through Thursday, you can hear about ordinary heroes.

All events are free and open to the public at UT Martin’s Watkins Auditorium.

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