A local pastor is planning what he expects will be the city's largest anniversary celebration of the March on Washington and the Emancipation Proclamation.
"I want to highlight the city's history, the sit-in movement, the impact of these historic events, and to honor local leaders that we may not have around much longer," said the Rev. Samuel Jackson, pastor of Union Hill Baptist Church.
Jackson is hosting the Freedom Jubilee Celebration at 4 p.m. April 13 at Memorial Auditorium.
Local honorees include longtime NAACP President James Mapp, former Hamilton County Commissioner Paul McDaniel, Mary Walker Museum and Foundation owner the Rev. John Edwards and former state Rep. Tommie Brown.
The event also will include national speakers the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a freedom rider and former staff member to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. Harold Middlebrooks, a Knoxville minister who studied under King; and Gadsden, Ala., City Councilman and civil rights leader Robert Avery.
Vincent Spann is on the Jubilee Celebration Committee.
"We want to educate young people about our history and introduce them to people who have been instrumental in bringing us to where we are today," said Spann.
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga History Center, Unum and the city's Department of Education, Arts and Culture are partnering with Jackson to put on the event.
Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6431.