WHAT’S YOUR 100?: Knoxville’s first Black school celebrates 140 years of education

Living East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – In 1897, Emily L. Austin founded Austin High School, the first school to educate African-Americans in the East Tennessee community.

Austin believed African-Americans needed to be educated beyond grade school, which resulted in a school that would later pave the way for integration of all-white East High School, with all-black Austin High School in 1968, becoming what is known today as Austin-East High School.

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