The Swift Story

The Swift Story explores a little-known aspect of Central Appalachian history. In 1883, the first African-American graduate of Tennessee’s Maryville College, Rev. William H. Franklin, established an institution of higher learning for newly emancipated Blacks in the region.

Swift Memorial Institute in Rogersville, Tennessee became a beacon of higher education in the rural South for African Americans,demonstrating, not only the power of education but the importance of doing what’s right, regardless current ideas.

The Swift Story is now being told through newly discovered
photographs, letters and documents, as well as interviews with authors, academics, Swift Memorial Institute alumni and Rogersville residents.

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