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Highlander: No Ordinary School by John Glen

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No, it is not an ordinary school. The Highlander Center is one of Appalachia's greatest assets. It was founded on Tennessee's Monteagle Mountain in 1932 by Myles Horton  (1905-1990) and Don West (1906-1992) and is still going strong. Don left after about a year, but Myles remained at Highlander throughout the rest of his life. Highlander is a conference center involved in inspiring and training people who are dedicated to improving society. In the beginning, its focus was on aiding the CIO's Southern labor organizing. Then it got involved primarily in civil right issues. Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, just several days after returning from a Highlander gathering, and the song, We Shall Overcome, was popularized there. In recent years, in addition to their invitation only events, they have an annual kind of homecoming open to all in the Fall. The state of Tennessee ran Highlander off Monteagle Mountain in 1961 and it relocated to Riverside Drive in Knoxville for the next decade. Its present campus overlooking the Smoky Mountains to the South and the Cumberlands to the North near New Market, Tennessee, was opened in 1972. For the next twenty years Highlander focused on Appalachia. Still involved in labor, civil rights, and Appalachia, Highlander currently is doing a lot of work with the Latino community.

Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996. 413 pages. Trade paperback.