CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) "We Shall Not Be Moved" is an exhibit at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center that takes you back in time when black Tennessee high school and college kids protested racial segregation by staging sit-ins at stores and restaurants.
Each displays tell a story from various cities throughout Tennessee. For example, A fire hose nozzle was donated by the Chattanooga fire dept. It's history is significant because it was used to hose down Activist.
"Chattanooga was actually the first city in Tennessee that used hoses and dogs to control protesters," said cultural center director Carmen Davis.
Civil Rights Historians say the images of seeing people hosed down, beaten and degraded is one if the elements that pushed the civil rights movement forward.
"These were peaceful forms of protest. They did not retaliate when people would throw ketchup on them in these restaurants and spit on them and throw salt and pepper and push on them. They would do nothing," Davis said.
Davis said another reason for hosting the exhibit is to give the younger African American generation the same since of community that was felt when young blacks were fighting for their civil rights. Some historians say times have changed and that hunger to work together as a blacks to improve the community has almost fallen by the wast side.
"I think that's the biggest difference with the African American community then as opposed to now," Davis said.
The exhibit will stay on display through April.