The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Tennessee Bar Foundation. Legal history project
Repository: Germantown (TN) Regional History and Genealogy Center
Collection Description (CRHP): This collection is a distinct subset of the oral history collection at the Germantown (TN) Regional History and Genealogy Center. It includes interviews of black lawyers and civil rights activists Odell Horton and Benjamin Hooks as well as Lewis Donelson, a white Republican who was a Memphis city council member during the time of the 1968 sanitation strike and Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Thomas Prewitt, Sr., who defended the city of Memphis against desegregation lawsuits and later changed his racial views, is also interviewed as is Wyeth Chandler, the white mayor of Memphis who virulently opposed school busing.
Collection Description (Extant): The Legal History Project works to preserve the record of the legal profession in Tennessee. Supported by the Fellows since 1998, the Project conducts video interviews of senior attorneys about their lives and experiences in the law. The individual interviews are archived by the Foundation for viewing by friends and colleagues of the interviewees, as well as for use by scholars and historians. Selected interviews are available at the Massey Library at Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, while copies of the entire collection are housed at the Regional History and Genealogy Center of the Germantown (TN) Community Library.
Access Copy Note: The legal history project is an ongoing project, and its materials are distributed to the archives in piecemeal form.
Collection URL: http://www.tnbarfoundation.org/legal.aspx
Digital Status: Yes
Extent: circa 67 video discs (DVD)
Related Archival Items: Oral histories of Thomas Prewitt and Lewis Donelson are held in the Everett Cook Collection of the Memphis public library.
Interviewees: Odell Horton, Benjamin Hooks, Lewis Donelson, Thomas Prewitt, Sr., Wyeth Chandler
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
African American judges
African American lawyers
Civil rights movements--Tennessee
Civil rights workers--Tennessee
Tennessee--Politics and government