KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Beck Cultural Exchange Center was created in 1975 with the purpose of keeping the city’s past alive.

“Once the black community was uprooted here in Knoxville, it needed to create a space or identity of what the Black community use to look like. And tell that story,” said Renee Kesler, the center’s president.

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“Beck is the place where Black history and culture is preserved and conserved. And the unique thing about Beck is that of all the history and cultural centers in the country, Beck focuses on local and regional African American history. So, it tells our story right here in East Tennessee.”