NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Black History Month is just one week away and cities across the central state are starting to honor Black excellence.
The City of Gallatin is doing this by highlighting past and present members of Gallatin’s black community.
“A lot of African-American history or Black history goes untold. A lot of it isn’t even printed holistically,” said Derrick Jackson, senior pastor of Frist Baptist Church.
The City of Gallatin hung banners on the avenue depicting influential black residents of Gallatin’s past and present. Sixteen people and places were chosen with the help of the Union High School Museum Board led by historian Velma Brinkley.
The idea of representing local residents on banners was mentioned during Mayor Paige Brown’s state of the city address last year. The mayor said the community embraced banners installed during Black History Month last year that featured national figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells and Katherine Johnson.
One of the 16 honorees is Pastor Derrick Jackson.
“If the Lord let me live in October, I’d be here 22 years,” Pastor Jackson said.
Even though he has held the title of senior pastor at First Baptist Church for over two decades, he is still humble about his accomplishments.
He is also an entrepreneur, accountant, university instructor and author.
He thinks what the city is doing is giving the public a chance to learn something new while also reminding everyone that Black History is American history.
“The complexities of Black life. The challenges of Black life. The contributions of Black life: Gallatin is better; Sumner County is better because it has African Americans,” Pastor Jackson said.
The banners will remain on display until February.
Below are portions of the content featured on Gallatin’s Avenue banners:
Fred Bailey: Founder of the nonprofits Children Are People and the Susie Brannon McJimpsey Center, Fred Bailey was born in 1953, the tenth of 15 children.
Colorful fair: Purported to be the first African-American owned agricultural fair in America, the Blythe Street Fair was purchased in July 1870 by Mack Randolph, Arthur Banks, Willie Baker, Dock Blythe, John Banks and Henry Ward for $650.
Dr William Wilson: Born in Marshall County, Wilson graduated from Meharry Medical College School of Pharmacy in 1906. In 1915 he moved to Gallatin where he and IC Ramsey, MD opened a pharmacy and physician’s office.
Dr. J. Deotha Malone: Malone was the first African-American woman elected to the Gallatin City Council in 1969 and served more than 20 years.
Dr Eric Moore: Moore, a Gallatin native, is the current Deputy Commanding General, US Army Combat Capability Development Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
Rev. Hillary Wattwood Key: Key founded Key Memorial Methodist Church and 13 other churches. He was the incorporator of the Lebanon / Gallatin Telegraph Company in 1869. He was elected to the Gallatin City Council on December 5, 1868.
William “Bubba” Dunn: A Gallatin High School and Volunteer State baseball standout, Dunn was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1989.
Union high school: Built on Winchester Street in 1922, the Rosenwald Building was the first high school for black students.
Rev. Pietro Vertrees: Born December 16, 1840 in Kentucky, Vertrees was an educator, pastor, and Confederate soldier (1861-1865).
John Vertree Malone: He was active and influential in education, religion, community, and civic endeavors. Malone worked 42 years in education at GHS, UHS and Durham’s Chapel.
James Herbert White: Born to illiterate parents and the grandson of former slaves, White graduated from A&I State College in 1924 and later founded a university.
Kenneth Moore: Attorney Kenneth Moore founded Sigma Electronic Discovery Consulting, LLC in 2015 and remains the owner. He also serves as a director for the international technology and consulting firm HaystackID Inc.
Bishop Lula Mai Swanson: Bishop Swanson founded and pastored three Jehovah’s Churches of God. He owned and operated a grocery store and used the proceeds from that venture to build a nursing home on Pace Street in 1954.
Head Onnessia Shacole: Rucker Stuart Middle School 2021 Teacher of the Year, Head has been an educator for 16 years. Head currently serves with Leadership Gallatin 2023, Unlimited Potential Food Pantry and Shalom Zone.
Dr. Derrick Jackson: a prominent Tennessee clergyman born in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Jackson is an entrepreneur, accountant, university instructor, philanthropist, published author and CEO.
John “Bud” Rogan: Born to former slaves in Sumner County in 1868, Rogan was the fourth of twelve children. At 8’9.5” he is the tallest African American on record and the second tallest man in world history.
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