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8th of August

Greeneville, Tennessee resident & former slave,
Sam Johnson, has been credited with the creation & spread of the 8th of August Emancipation celebrations. Through his efforts, his hometown holds the distinction of being the origin of these events, still carried on today.
Photographs by Holly Rainey

East Tennessee PBS, in partnership with the George Clem Multicultural Alliance, hosted

EAST TENNESSEE VOICES: GREENEVILLE'S 8TH OF AUGUST elders forum at historic Jones Memorial AME Zion Church.

Members of Greene County's Black community shared their memories of past 8th of August celebrations, as well as their hopes for racial harmony & brotherhood.

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Oral Histories
Greeneville Community
History Project
The Greeneville Community History project is working with the area's residents to provide a one-stop-shop for the County's Black history & make public& private items freely accessible.
Much of the materials collected were provided by institutions such as Tusculum College, the Greeneville/Greene County History Museum, and the Elmer T. Cox Memorial Library. However, the greatest amount of items were submitted by community members themselves.
Begun in February of 2018, this project now contains several collections and will continue to grow & Improve over time. You can browse the collections here:
In partnership with Greene County Schools, records of the County's rural, one-room Black schools from 1937 to 1958. Those records are accessible via the links on each schools name below:



Bulls Gap


New Hope

Pruitt Hill



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