Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) celebrated Black History Month earlier Wednesday by remembering and honoring the Clinton 12.
We were so honored to have past Clinton High School students Jerry Shattuck and Gail Ann Epps speak at our #BlackHistoryMonth event today! Both Jerry and Gail were students during the school’s integration in 1956, with Gail being one of #TheClinton12. #STEMpact #FurtherTogether pic.twitter.com/UKqCma5FA8— ORAU (@orau) February 13, 2019
The Clinton 12 consists of 12 young people in Clinton, Tenn. who were the first students to integrate a state-supported high school in the South by court order in 1956.
Clinton High School also had the first African American male to graduate high school in the South.
On Wednesday, the program honored the Clinton 12 with two guest speakers – both students at the time fo the 1956 integration, Jerry Shattuck and a member of the Clinton 12, Gail Ann Epps Upton.
Upton says she feels the Clinton 12 opened doors.
“It’s part of our history and I think all these young people should know how we have strived, just to get an education,” Upton said. “It’s opened a lot of doors for a lot of other children I think.”
If you’d like to visit the Clinton 12 exhibit at Green McAdoo Cultural Center, the museum is open Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.