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AT&T Tennessee has big plans for African-American History Month

    AT&T Tennessee has put its support behind two special exhibitions as part of its salute to African American History Month 2013.

    That support includes a $25,000 contribution to the Tennessee State Museum to help fund the exhibition of the Emancipation Proclamation in Nashville, Feb. 12-18. AT&T also plans to unveil a new exhibition highlighting the 2013 honorees of the Tennessee African American History Calendar sponsored by the company.

    The Tennessee State Museum will be the only stop in the Southeast of an unprecedented tour and display of the original Emancipation Proclamation. The document is one of the highlights featured in the Discovering the Civil War exhibit created by the National Archives and Records Administration and the Foundation for the National Archives. The Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, altered the course of U.S. history and dramatically changed the lives of African-Americans by proclaiming freedom for millions of slaves.

    The Tennessee African American History Calendar was created five years ago by AT&T to profile individuals and events from across the state that have had a compelling impact on the lives of Tennesseans. The new exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum was created in honor of African American History Month and in an effort to expose more Tennesseans to the notable people and events featured in the 2013 calendar.

    "This is an amazing opportunity to see history close up," said State Sen. Reginald Tate (D-33). "These exhibits will allow visitors to learn more about the people and events that have helped shape our state and our nation."

    State Rep. G. A. Hardaway (D-93), who congratulated the State Museum for securing the only Southeast stop for the Emancipation Proclamation, said he also was pleased that the Tennessee African American History calendar will be on display at the State Museum for Black History Month.

    "It is important that we celebrate these outstanding Tennesseans who have done so much for our state and our nation," said Hardaway.

    The Discovering the Civil War exhibit, which will continue well beyond the original Emancipation Proclamation's seven-day viewing, is the culmination of 150 years of analysis, interpretation, and opinion on the Civil War through lesser-known stories and perspectives. Many items on view have never been shown publicly. Highlights include the original copy of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, along with South Carolina's 1860 declaration of secession. A replica of the Emancipation Proclamation will be on view until the exhibit closes Sept. 1, 2013.

    The 2013 African American History Calendar was unveiled at a special ceremony last October at the AT&T headquarters building in Nashville. Honorees in attendance included legendary Tennessee State University coach Ed Temple, Federal Judge Bernice Donald and former Fisk University President Hazel O'Leary.

    "This annual calendar is a great way to honor those who have positively influenced Tennessee state history and culture," said Gregg Morton, president of AT&T Tennessee. "We are privileged to launch this new exhibition of the calendar at the Tennessee State Museum to honor Black History Month."

    The calendar highlights the Tennessee African-American experience and honors individuals and events that have made a strong impact on the lives of Tennesseans.

    Honorees featured in the 2013 calendar include:

    Arts and Entertainment – Roland Hayes

    Business – McKissack & McKissack

    Civil Rights – Maxine and Vasco Smith

    Education – Hazel O'Leary

    Education – Price Public Community Center & Swift Museum

    Law – Judge Bernice Bouie Donald

    Medicine – Andre, Kevin and Keith Churchwell

    Music – Bessie Smith

    Politics and Government – Avon Williams, Jr.

    Religion – Bishop C.H. Mason

    Sports – Ed Temple

    Journalism – Callie Crossley

    To download a free copy of the calendar or for more information, please visit

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