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Gallatin honors influential black residents in the city’s past and present

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There’s only a week left until Black History Month, and cities across the state are beginning to honor black excellence.

The City of Gallatin does this by highlighting members of the Gallatin black community from both past and present.

Reverend Derek Jackson I of the Baptist Church said, “Not much African American history or black history has been told. Much of it has not been printed in a comprehensive way.”

The City of Gallatin hung signs on the avenue depicting the influential black residents of Gallatin’s past and present. Sixteen people and places were selected with the help of the Union High School Museum Board led by historian Velma Brinkley.

The idea of ​​featuring locals on the signs was mentioned during Mayor Paige Brown’s State of the City address last year. The mayor said the community has embraced signs installed during Black History Month last year that featured national figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells and Katherine Johnson.

One of the 16 honored is Rev. Derek Jackson.

“If the Lord had allowed me to live in October, I would have been here 22 years,” said Rev. Jackson.

Although he has held the title of Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church for more than two decades, he remains humble about his accomplishments.

He is also an entrepreneur, accountant, university teacher, and author.

He believes that what the city is doing gives the public an opportunity to learn something new while at the same time reminding everyone that black history is American history.

Rev. Jackson said, “The complexities of black life. The challenges of black life. Black lives contributions – Gallatin is better; Sumner County is better because of the presence of African Americans.”

The banners will remain on display through February.


The following are portions of the content displayed on Gallatin Street signs:

Fred BaileyChildren Are People: Founder of the nonprofit organizations Children Are People and the Susie Brannon McJimpsey Center, Fred Bailey was born in 1953, the tenth of 15 children.

Colorful galleryAllegedly the first African-American-owned agricultural fair in America, Blythe Street Fair was purchased in July 1870 by McRandolph, Arthur Banks, Willie Baker, Doc Blyth, John Banks, and Henry Ward for $650.

Dr. William Wilson: Born in Marshall County, Graduated from the Mahary Medical College of Pharmacy in 1906. In 1915, he moved to Gallatin where, with I. C. Ramsey, MD, he opened a pharmacy and medical practice.

Doctor. Cuckold Malone: Malone was the first African American woman elected to the Gallatin City Council in 1969 and served for more than 20 years.

Dr. Eric MooreMoore, a native of Gallatin, is the current deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

Pastor Hillary Watwood KKey founded the Key Memorial Methodist Church and 13 other churches. Founder of the Lebanon / Gallatin Telegraph Company in 1869. He was elected to the Gallatin City Council on December 5, 1868.

William “Bubba” DunnOutstanding baseball player from Gallatin High School and Volunteer State, Dunn was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1989.

Union High SchoolThe Rosenwald Building on Winchester Street was built in 1922 and was the first high school for black students.

Pastor Peter Vertress: born December 16, 1840, in Kentucky, was an educator, pastor, and soldier in the Confederacy (1861-1865).

John Vertress MaloneHe was active and influential in education, religion, society and civil endeavours. Malone has worked 42 years in education at GHS, UHS and Durham’s Chapel.

James Herbert WhiteBorn to illiterate parents and the grandson of former slaves, White graduated from A&I State College in 1924 and later founded a university.

Kenneth MooreAttorney Kenneth Moore founded Sigma Electronic Discovery Consulting, LLC in 2015 and is still the owner. He is also a Director of HaystackID Inc. International technology and consulting.

Bishop Lula Mae Swanson: Bishop Swanson founded and pastored three churches of Jehovah God. She owned and operated a grocery store and used the proceeds from that venture to build a nursing home on Peace Street in 1954.

Onisia Shackle Head2021 Educator of the Year: Rucker Stuart Middle School Head has been an educator for 16 years. Head currently serves with Leadership Gallatin 2023 and Unlimited Potential Pantry and Shalom Zone.

Dr. Derek Jackson: a prominent pastor from Tennessee born in Ita Pena, Mississippi. Jackson is an entrepreneur, accountant, university teacher, philanthropist, published author, and CEO.

John “Bud” RoganBorn to former slaves in Sumner County in 1868, Rogan was the fourth of twelve children. At 8’9.5″, he is the tallest African American man ever recorded and the second tallest man in world history.


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