NBC, April 2, 2019
A Tennessee social justice center that has hosted iconic civil rights leaders was destroyed in a fire and a "white power" symbol was found on the site, the center said.
The symbol, which officials did not describe but said was connected to the white power movement, was discovered after the main office was completely destroyed in a fire last week, the Highlander Research and Education Center said in a news release Tuesday. It was spray-painted on the parking lot connected to the main office.
No one was hurt in Friday's blaze.
"While we don't know the names of the culprits, we know that the white power movement has been increasing and consolidating power across the South, across this nation, and globally," Highlander said. "Since 2016, the white power movement has become more visible, and we’ve seen that manifest in various ways, both subtle and overt."
Highlander, 30 minutes east of Knoxville, has provided training and organizing efforts for emerging social justice movements in the South since 1932, when Myles Horton founded the Highlander Folk School.
It played a key role in the civil rights movement by helping to organize the Montgomery, Alabama, boycotts and aided in the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, according to the center's website.
Famed civil rights leaders and social activists including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy and Peter Seeger attended training events at the Highlander center. ...
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