The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County resumed its traditional “Porch Talks” last month with Bill Ratcliff, United States Colored Troops Reenactor, 13th Regiment, sharing his 30-year story as a reenactor. Mr. Ratcliff, a well-known reenactor, had much to tell and now has 3 USCT statues erected in two different states with him being the model.
With the “Porch Talks” series, professionals and representatives of historic preservation and interpretation of African American history and culture are invited to discuss, share their knowledge and expertise and their stories with the attendees. This month, the organization is pleased and honored to have Dr. Learotha Williams Jr., Professor of African American History at Tennessee State University as guest speaker of the July “Porch Talks” Dr. Williams is a scholar of African American, Civil War, Reconstruction, and public History at the university where he teaches courses that explore African American, Public History, and Public Memory. He is also coordinator of the North Nashville Heritage Project and Middle Tennessee African American Heritage Collective at Tennessee State University.
His recent publications include a bestselling book, I’ll Take You There: Exploring Nashville’s Social Justice Sites a work he co-edited with Amie Thurber, “Black Faces Along the Cumberland Basin” in John Guider’s, Voyage of the Adventure Retracing the Donelson Party’s Journey to the Founding of Nashville, “Hewing Stones of Hope in a City of Discarded Rocks,” in Marin Sullivan’s, The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework, and “A Balm in Gilead: Love, Hope, and Despair in North Nashville” in Katy Delmez’ Murals of North Nashville Now. These works were published by Vanderbilt University Press between 2019 and 2021.
The event begins at 11:00 a.m. on July 8th at the McLemore House Museum. The public is invited and encouraged to bring a lawn chair for seating.
Beginning in July also, the organization will host “First Friday at the McLemore House. The time for First Fridays will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Moe Better BBQ and Fish will be present with great BBQ, fish, brisket and much more. Guests are encouraged to come for good food and a free museum tour! Due to the 4th of July weekend, the event this month will be the second Friday, which is *July 8th.
The African American Heritage Society would like to thank the community for the amazing support in the many efforts to protect and preserve the rich African American history here in Williamson County. There is so much and so many more stories to be told, “Lest We Forget” AAHS is a 501c (3) organization; donations are tax-deductible and may be made online at aahswc.org. To make a donation through mail, checks should be made payable to the: African American Heritage Society, P. O. Box 1053, Franklin, TN. 37065.