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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Words: 220 words || 
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1. Williams Jr, Learotha. "Bibles, Books, and Businesses: The Rise, Decline, and Rebirth of Nashville’s Jefferson Street." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2020-02-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436191_index.html>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: For more than a century, Jefferson Street has played a central in the economic and social development of Nashville, Tennessee’s African American community. Originally established as a thoroughfare to transport goods from the city’s west side to the Cumberland River, the arrival of large numbers of African Americans to Nashville during the Civil War and Reconstruction helped to transform the rugged wagon trail and its adjacent community into one of the economic, cultural, and intellectual centers in the city. Later, with the establishment of Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University, Jefferson Street became a place where African American businesses could thrive.
This paper will explore the growth and transformation of Jefferson Street from an artery used to transport goods produced by enslaved persons the Cumberland River to its emergence as an economic and social center of African American life in Nashville. It will also examine the causes of its decline in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, paying close attention to how African American demand for more goods and services, greater access to educational opportunities, the growth of the suburbs, and an extension of the interstate highway system led to its decline and presented its business owners and residents with economic challenges they still grapple with today.


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