Interview with C. T. Vivian
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

O.K., JUST IN TERMS OF, UH, COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE SOUTH ESPECIALLY, HOW WAS- WHAT WAS NASHVILLE'S IMAGE AMONG BLACKS?

C. T. Vivian:

Nashville as, uh, during that entire period, was one of the better places for blacks to live in the south. Uh, you uh, it had uh, a number of, of schools of higher education- had uh, two black colleges and a black medical school, Meharry Medical School, which was uh, uh, and it had uh, a number of white colleges, uh, Vanderbilt uh, Peabody uh, and a number of other smaller colleges. Another thing that Nashville had that made it stand out is that you had publishing houses in Nashville, three major black ones, and most of the major white ones. There were, I think, eleven, uh, to thirteen different religious publishing houses in that city. Uh, what you're saying at that point is that you have religious intellectuals—not just your southern religionist uh, who was really uh, a racist, though he totes hiss Bible, right? Uh, you're thinking about people who try to purify their religion and think about it. You're thinking about educators that are not simply concerned about the normal segregationist and racist policies of education through the south, but are more inclined, more inclined, not necessarily purist, but more inclined to want to see the full development of education of everyone, right? Now with these tendencies within Nashville community made it a better place to live. Now let's look at another part of that too. It's because the very image that the city tried to give to tourists, and to itself, was that it was the "Athens of the south." There's a three-quarter uh, uh, replica of the Parthenon, right? They tried to set a tone uh, far different than most cities. It tried to set a tone of, of cultivation and, and of being civilized human beings. The rest of the south didn't necessarily do so.

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

[Miscellaneous]