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Posted on: October 6, 2022

Fort Defiance to host guest speaker on “The Importance of Oral Histories”

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Fort Defiance Interpretive Center will host guest speaker, Jason McGowan, as he presents “The Importance of Oral Histories”  at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 8.

McGowan is a research associate with Middle Tennessee State University’s Albert Gore Research Center. At the event, he will explain why Oral Histories are so important for historians to understand past events. 

McGowan believes everyone has a story to tell, and often these stories help historians understand events of the past on a more personal level. McGowan will also describe his current project and look for volunteers to participate in his research.

Telling Tennessee’s History

The speech is part of the Middle Tennessee African American Oral History Project. This project’s goal is to assemble and preserve a vast collection of local African American history via various interviews that chronicle the lives and diverse experiences of African Americans who resided, worked, or went to school in Middle Tennessee during legal segregation or through the implementation of integration. 

This archive will also serve as a permanent celebration of African American families, communities, and achievements in Middle Tennessee. This project is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This is a free event that is open to the public.

For information about Fort Defiance visit ClarksvilleParkRec.com or call 931-645-7476.

About Fort Defiance

The Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center, 120 Duncan Street, is operated by the Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department. The fort, which overlooks the confluence of the Red and Cumberland rivers, was a cornerstone of the Confederate defense of the area and an important part of the Union occupation of Clarksville. In 1982, Judge and Mrs. Sam Boaz donated the property to the City of Clarksville. In 2008, the City secured a $2.2 million federal grant that was combined with local funding to build the interpretive center and walking trails. The Center features exhibits about the local area and the fort during the Civil War.

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