The Highlander Folk School was founded in 1932 in Monteagle on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. Its founders envisioned an adult education center where mountain people could tackle community problems. Many of those problems involved racial and economic inequalities. Highlander’s efforts to achieve greater equality caused some to label it as a Communist training school. In 1961, acting on those accusations, the state of Tennessee revoked its charter and confiscated its land and buildings. Highlander reorganized as the Highlander Research and Education Center and moved to Knoxville, and later New Market, Tennessee. In 1990, Time Magazine called it one of the South’s most influential institutions of social change. Two years later, it was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio: