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Knoxville during the Civil Rights Era: film screening Feb. 21

The documentary film Say It Loud: Knoxville During the Civil Rights Era will be screened at the University of Tennessee’s John C. Hodges Library on Sunday, February 21. The public is invited to this free screening at 2 p.m., in the Lindsay Young Auditorium.

Featuring rare, historic footage of African American life during Knoxville’s civil rights era, Say It Loud offers a glimpse into the early protests and marches in downtown Knoxville and Cumberland Avenue during the early 1960s.

The film screening is one of many events surrounding The Big Read, the community-wide reading initiative hosted by the Knox County Public Library. This spring’s program is based on Ernest J. Gaines’ award-winning novel, A Lesson Before Dying. A Lesson Before Dying is the story of two young men who teach each other the lessons they need in order to face their futures — one, a disheartened young teacher; the other, a man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit.

Affiliated community events include lectures, book discussions, a concert of spiritual songs, and a forum with community leaders. From February 24 through March 13, UT’s Clarence Brown Theatre will offer performances of the Romulus Linney play based on the novel, including a “Pay What You Wish Night” the evening of February 24. Read more about A Lesson Before Dying and events open to the entire community at

Say It Loud was edited by Louisa Trott from films clips held in the Knox County Public Library’s Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound. The Friends of the Knox County Public Library provided funding for the project. The UT Libraries is pleased to offer a venue for screening and discussing this important film.

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