Urban Renewal Collection

Collection
Knoxville’s Urban Renewal projects (1959-1974) affected the largely African American population, and consisted of the Willow Street Project, the Mountain View Project, and the Morningside Project. 107 African-American businesses were affected, as well as 15 African-American churches and more than 2,500 families, 70% of which were African-American.

Urban Renewal often dubbed Urban Removal or Negro Removal, was established under Title I of the Housing Act of 1949. The federal government granted assistance and loans to local communities wanting to eliminate slums, urban blight, and substandard housing. Yet, the devastating consequences, that disproportionately targeted minority communities through eminent domain, resulted in the displacement of many families.

Urban Renewal will come to an end in 1974 but, the ramifications of Urban Renewal continues. Knoxville’s Urban Renewal projects (1959-1974) affected the largely African American population, and consisted of the Willow Street Project, the Mountain View Project, and the Morningside Project. Beck was established in 1975 as a result of Knoxville’s Urban Renewal projects. It destroyed shacks and stately homes alike, businesses and churches. The projects relocated and displaced many black families. Much of the heritage of the black community was erased from the map. Edifices that once stood as monuments to the struggles of early leaders no longer exist. Absent of the establishment of Beck, these places and the people may never have existed.

INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES GRANT (IMLS) The collection in the Beck Archive Studio, not currently available to the public, consists of 50,000 objects documenting over 200 years of local African American history and culture. The Urban Renewal Project grant, awarded by IMLS under the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture, is allowing a more in-depth assessment of the people, places and effects of Urban Renewal and its continuing impact. The grant is enabling Beck the opportunity to preserve and catalog its one-of-a-kind collection and make it accessible to the community its collection of materials related to Knoxville’s Urban Renewal projects.
Loading...
Loading...