‘Porch Talks’ Hear Black Vets’ History

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AAHS historical committee member Tina Jones, left, stands with Dr. Eleanor Fleming, originally of Franklin, on the front porch of the McLemore House, headquarters and museum for the AAHS of Williamson County. Photo by Alma McLemore

By Clint Confehr

FRANKLIN, TN — African American veterans’ contribution to history is the topic of next Friday’s porch talk at the McLemore House presented by the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County.

Leading the discussion at 446 11th Ave., N. are AAHS Vice President Harvey Chrisman, American Legion Post 215 historian and past commander, along with AAHS historical committee member and blogger Tina Jones.

“The pair will explore the rich history of African American veterans from Williamson County dating from the Revolutionary War through the current day,” AAHS President Alma McLemore announced. “The speakers will also highlight the contributions of African Americans from Williamson County who served in World War I.”

Dr. Eleanor Fleming met with Jones recently about an ancestor who was a construction worker at Fort Negley. Such personal contracts are among various research methods employed by the society, much of which become topics for Porch Talks and the annual Black Tie Affair in February.

Porch Talks are free. They’re at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of each month to feature topics related to local African American historical, cultural and genealogical importance such as the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Previous speakers include Frederick Douglass’ great-great grandson, Kevin Douglass Greene.

Also Nov. 3, Jones will reveal a website for memorial pavers’ sponsorship at Williamson County’s Veterans Park in Franklin. Jones has identified 324 African Americans with Williamson County ties who served in the Civil War. Of those, 272 served in the US Army, 15 in the US Navy, and 38 were taken as slaves to be servants for Confederate soldiers. See www.mclemorehouse.com. Contact Jones at SlavesToSoldiers@gmail.com. Read her blog at USCTWillCoTN.blogspot.com.

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