RESOLUTION NO. RS2011-1669
A resolution requesting the Metropolitan Arts Commission to take the action necessary to commission and install a work of public art commemorating the Sit-In Movement in Nashville and the Freedom Riders, and requesting the Metropolitan Historical Commission to provide the appropriate language to be included on a plaque identifying the artwork.
WHEREAS, during February 1960, a handful of Nashville college students from Fisk University, Tennessee A&I (later Tennessee State University), and American Baptist Theological Seminary, along with a number of religious leaders and other citizens, began a sit-in campaign targeting downtown lunch counters; and
WHEREAS, the Nashville sit-ins, which lasted from February 13 to May 10, 1960, were part of a nonviolent, direct action campaign to end racial segregation at lunch counters in downtown Nashville; and
WHEREAS, on April 19, 1960, after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Attorney Z. Alexander Looby’s home was bombed, thousands of Blacks marched to Nashville's City Hall demanding justice in what became known as “The Silent March” to protest and challenge Mayor Ben West, who conceded that segregation was wrong and that lunch counters should be desegregated; and
WHEREAS; the very next day, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Fisk University commending the students for their efforts of courage and discipline to end the Jim Crow laws; and
WHEREAS, on May 10, 1960, Nashville became the first major city to begin desegregating its public facilities, which was just the beginning of the changes to come for a more equal and better society; and
WHEREAS, 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders Movement, which included a group of students from Nashville who risked their lives to board commercial buses and ride across the South in protest of segregation; and
WHEREAS, although the Nashville Sit-In Movement and the Freedom Riders are both recognized nationally as a catalyst for ending Jim Crow laws in the South, there is no statue, artwork, or large monument in downtown Nashville commemorating the movement; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 5.10 of the Metropolitan Code requires that one percent of the net proceeds of any general obligation bond issued to fund Metro construction project(s) be deposited and set aside to fund public art projects in Nashville; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Arts Commission take the action necessary to commission an appropriate piece of public art to be installed in downtown Nashville commemorating the Nashville Civil Rights Sit-In Movement.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting the Metropolitan Arts Commission to take the action necessary to commission and install a work of public art commemorating the Sit-In Movement in Nashville and the Freedom Riders, and requesting the Metropolitan Historical Commission to provide the appropriate language to be included on a plaque identifying the artwork.
Section 2. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Jen Cole, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Arts Commission, to each member of the Metropolitan Arts Commission, and to Tim Walker, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Historical Commission.
Section 3. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Vivian Wilhoite, Lonnell Matthews
|Referred to:||Planning & Zoning Committee|
|Introduced:||May 17, 2011|
|Adopted:||May 17, 2011|
|Returned Unsigned by Mayor:||May 20, 2011|