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Non http copy which follows not –unfortunately-- have italics and underlining) Myles Horton (1905-90) of Highlander Adult Education Center, Tennessee; Educator and Social Activist, By Franklin Parker and Betty J. Parker, bfparker@frontiernet.net (see end About Authors) Introduction Tennessean Myles Horton is worth knowing about because he was a significant leader of social change in the modern South. His Highlander folk school in East Tennessee helped unionize southern textile workers and coal miners in the 1930s and '40s and helped advance civil rights in the 1950s and '60s. Early black leaders--Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, and others--attended Highlander interracial workshops before the Montgomery, AL, bus boycott; before lunch counter sit-ins; before the student freedom riders; and before school integration. "We Shall Overcome," the civil rights song heard around the world, was first popularized at Highlander. Horton of Highlander initiated South Carolina black Sea Islanders' Citizenship Schools which spread throughout the South, helped some 100,000 blacks become literate, qualified them to register to vote, and thus helped advance the 1960s civil rights movement. Critics falsely labeled Myles Horton a rabble rousing "red," a "communist," a threat to American institutions and traditional values. Huge billboard photos in the South in 1965 were captioned, "Martin Luther King at a Communist Training School" [Highlander]. Horton is important because he challenged entrenched power and privilege (as did India's Gandhi); helped workers form labor unions and cooperatives (as did labor organizer Saul Alinsky, 1909-72); helped empower dispossessed people (as did Brazilian adult educator Paulo Freire, 1921-); and helped people realize and achieve their legal rights (as did consumer advocate Ralph Nader, 1934-).

What in Horton's background and upbringing might have foretold what he was to become? He was born in Savannah, TN, July 9, 1905, the eldest of four children. His parents, Perry and Elsie Falls Horton, were native Tennesseans, Scotch Irish, and poor, although a paternal forebear had received the first land grant (c.1772) in northeast Tennessee. His parents passed on to Myles their Cumberland Presbyterian Church's Calvinistic values, independent spirit, belief in helping others less fortunate regardless of race, and a respect for education (both parents, with grade school education, had been schoolteachers). The Hortons moved from Savannah to Humboldt (near Memphis) where Myles went to high school and worked during summers. He expressed his skepticism about religion to his mother. She advised him to, "just love people." Eclectic in his reading, he majored in English literature at Cumberland University, Lebanon, TN, 1924-28, refused to take the traditional hazing and organized other students to resist hazing. Working in a Humboldt box factory in the summer of 1925, he shocked fellow workers by supporting John T. Scopes, on trial in Dayton, TN, for teaching evolution. As president of his campus YMCA, in his junior year, 1927, he attended a southern YMCA conference on Nashville's Vanderbilt University campus. In this, his first contact with foreign and black students, he resented not being able to take a Chinese girl to a restaurant or enter a public library with a black acquaintance. He was upset when he heard a Labor Day speech on campus by Cumberland University trustee John Emmett Edgerton, a woolen manufacturer and president of the Southern States Industrial Council, lecturing students against labor unions. Northern agitators, Edgerton said, were starting labor unions that would destroy industry and jobs in the South. On impulse, Horton went to the Edgerton's textile mill in Lebanon, TN, was dismayed at the unfair practices he saw, and urged the workers to organize. University officials threatened to expel him if he visited the mill again. Ozone, TN, Summer 1927 In summer vacations from Cumberland University, Horton organized vacation Bible schools for the Presbyterian Church. In the summer of 1927 he let his assistants teach the young people at a small Ozone, East Tennessee, church while he invited their parents to discuss their problems. They asked questions about farming problems, how to get a textile mill job, how to test wells for typhoid, and other concerns. Myles said he did not know but would get the answers from experts: a county agent, a health officer, and others. The 22-year-old realized for the first time that he could lead a discussion without knowing all the answers. He got the adults to talk about their own experiences and found that they already had many answers to their 2

problems. Ozone people liked these discussions, attendance increased, and a woman about to retire who liked what he was doing said that she would turn over her home to him for such programs. Horton, grateful, said he would think about it and would return when he had something to offer. "O" for Ozone in his later notes stood for the kind of school he wanted to start. The Ozone experience, he later said, was the genesis of Highlander. Union Theological Seminary, 1929-30 Crisscrossing the state as Tennessee YMCA organizer, Myles found a sympathetic listener in Crossville, TN, Congregational minister Abram Nightingale, with whom he sometimes boarded. Nightingale encouraged Myles's intent to establish a school but told Myles that he needed more learning, more experiences, more contact with ideas and thinkers away from the South. Nightingale encouraged Myles to attend Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and shared with Myles a book by Union Seminary Ethics Professor Harry F. Ward (1873-1966), On Economic Morality and the Ethic of Jesus. Ward believed that extremes of wealth and poverty were the Achilles' heel of U.S. free enterprise and that the profit motive hindered Christian brotherhood and equality. During the early Great Depression years of stock market crash, failed businesses, and jobless bread lines, Myles, at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, met the leading U.S. social-activist educators. He sought a philosophy to guide the kind of school he envisioned. He took theology courses, read widely at Columbia University Library near the seminary, worked in a Hell's Kitchen ghetto boys' club, visited Greenwich House and Henry Street Settlement House, and helped organize an International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union strike. He went to observe a Marion, NC, textile strike; visited Brookwood Labor College, Katonah, NY, which trained labor union leaders (modeled after worker education-oriented Ruskin College, Oxford, England); interviewed old timers at the utopian Oneida Colony, upstate NY, and the cooperative communities at Rugby and Ruskin, both in TN, and at New Harmony, IN. He noted sadly how with time the spirit of these once vibrant socialist communities had all but disappeared. He determined that the school he envisioned would be loosely structured and adaptable to involve, serve, and help poor people in labor and racial strife, help them find ways to gain dignity, freedom, and justice. Unconcerned with credits, grades, or a divinity degree, he read the writings of the British Fabian socialists and the writings of U.S. educators John Dewey, George S. Counts, and others. Observing a New York City May Day parade while unwittingly wearing his red college sweater, he was rudely brought to reality when a mounted policeman clouted him for being a "god-damn Red."


He was most influenced by Union Theological Seminary's liberal theology Professor Reinhold Niebuhr (18921971), a passionate advocate of the social gospel. Niebuhr had come to Union the previous year, 1928, from a small Detroit church. His Christian ethics seminar, which Horton attended, was the basis of his 1932 book, Moral Man and Immoral Society. Niebuhr questioned the generally accepted notion of inevitable progress, saw that the poor were oppressed and exploited by the economic and political system. He headed the Fellowship of Socialist Christians, which wanted progressive churches to join with labor unions to achieve fundamental reform. He co-founded with socialist Norman Thomas a journal, The World Tomorrow, dedicated to "a social order based on the religion of Jesus." Niebuhr saw the reformer's problem as how to achieve equality and justice peacefully; that is, how to pit the power of the oppressed against the power of oppressors nonviolently. Niebuhr's ideas coincided with Horton's aims for his anticipated southern adult education school: to help downtrodden people find ways to solve their own problems peacefully. Niebuhr was sympathetic and encouraged Horton. University of Chicago, 1930-31 Interested now more in sociology than in theology, Horton went to the University of Chicago. There, he was impressed by sociology Professor Robert E. Park's (1864-1944) theory that individuals unite when they see common goals they can attain by working together. Through Park, Horton saw that because conflict is inevitable, the thing to do is to use conflict creatively to move people away from the inequities of the status quo and toward fairer economic, political, social, and moral positions. Horton was also influenced by Lester F. Ward's (1841-1913) Dynamic Sociology, which argued that education requires action and that social progress is possible only through dynamic action. He talked with and was encouraged by Jane Addams and her colleagues at Hull House, famed adult education center for immigrants in Chicago. In the spring of 1931 in Chicago he met two immigrant Danish Lutheran ministers who, when they heard him describe his school ideas, said that his ideas reminded them of the Danish folk school and urged him to visit Denmark. Reading about Danish folk school history and accomplishments, Horton compiled a pertinent bibliography for the University of Chicago library. He also read The Southern Highlander in His Homeland by John Charles Campbell (1867-1919), written with Mrs. Campbell who, in 1925, had established the John C. Campbell Folk School near Brasstown, NC, along Danish folk high school lines. Determined to visit Denmark, Horton earned 4

enough money for travel there by working in New York City as researcher for a professor he had met at the University of Chicago. Denmark Folk Schools, 1931-32 Visiting Danish folk high schools, Horton appreciated 19th century founder Bishop N.S.F. Grundtvig's (17831872) "Living Word" sermons and admired disciple Kristen Kold's folk schools. These folk schools had awakened oppressed peasants' patriotism and civic responsibility, helped restore Denmark's economic prosperity, and led to cooperatives and a broader based democracy. Horton liked the newer folk high schools for industrial workers. He admired their informality, close student-teacher interaction, highly motivated learning, and clear objectives. Christmas night, 1931, Copenhagen Unable to sleep on Christmas night, 1931, Horton wrote down his thoughts about his future school: it must be located in the South; have white and black students and teachers working together; give no credits or exams; should collect information on the south's most pressing problems, propose solutions, and have students try out those solutions in conflict situations in their home communities. It was to be an adult education school to train leaders who in turn would transform their communities and organizations. Highlander at Monteagle, November 1, 1932 Horton returned to New York in May 1932 and outlined his school plan to Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr wrote a finance appeal letter to raise funds for Horton's school in the South intended to train "an educated radical labor leadership." At Niebuhr's instigation, Horton got his school's first $100 contribution from International YMCA Secretary Sherwood Eddy (1871-1963) and secured two Niebuhr graduate students as teachers: one who stayed less than a year, and James A. Dombroski (1897?-1983), son of a Tampa, FL, jeweler, who stayed nearly a decade. Searching for a school site, Horton contacted Will W. Alexander (1884-1956?) of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. Alexander mentioned Don West (1906-92) who also wanted to establish a southern Appalachian folk school. West, a rural north Georgian and Lincoln University (Harrogate, TN) graduate, was, like Horton, a former campus YMCA president, Bible school organizer in mountain communities, and a Danish folk high school enthusiast. Horton learned that West, a Vanderbilt University Divinity School graduate and a Congregational church pastor near Crossville, TN, was attending the YMCA's Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC. Horton hitchhiked to North Carolina, met and shared common interests with West and, by one account, learned 5

through the Rev. Abram Nightingale that retired college president Lilian Johnson (1864-1968) had offered her Monteagle, TN, farm to be used for community uplift. Lilian Johnson, daughter of a wealthy banking and mercantile family, had a Cornell University doctorate in history, had been president of Western State College, Oxford, Ohio; was a leading southern suffragist, and a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. She had gone to Italy to study cooperatives and returned to spread the idea in the South, working from her house and farm in Summerfield, near Monteagle, Grundy County, TN., Horton and West, with meager financial backing and a small staff, got Lilian Johnson to lease her property for a year and, subject to her satisfaction, perhaps longer. Highlander Folk School, as it was named, opened November 1, 1932. Only eight students enrolled in its first residence term, November 1932-April 1933, a small beginning. But with the Wilder, TN coal mine strike, 193233, 100 miles north of Monteagle, Horton and Highlander became involved for the first time in mineworker union conflict. Wilder, TN, Mine Strike, 1932-33 The Wilder strike began in the summer of 1932. Mine owners refused to renew a United Mine Workers (UMW) contract unless union members took a 20 percent wage cut. Long critical of mine conditions and company store prices (miners were paid in scrip redeemable only in company stores), union miners struck, closing the mines to mid-October 1932, when nonunion scabs and some union members resumed work under armed guards. Violence flared. The state governor sent in some 200 national guardsmen, whose inexperience, drinking, and favoritism to scabs and mine owners hardly kept the peace. Myles Horton went to Wilder in November 1932, took notes on the strike, and ate a meager Thanksgiving dinner with UMW local president Barney Graham. Waiting for a bus the next morning, he was arrested, jailed, and charged--as he later humorously recalled--with "coming here and getting information and going back and teaching it." He was released the following day. To Horton the strike was a conflict situation from which he, Highlander students, and the miners could learn. He and Highlander students helped solicit and distribute emergency food and clothing. Some strikers thought him a "Red." Others appreciated his and Highlander's help and good intentions. Violence continued. Horton heard of and told state officials of a plot to kill local union president Barney Graham. Horton's warning was ignored. Graham was shot to death April 30, 1933. Their leader dead, the strikers returned to work without a contract and under near starvation conditions.


Said Horton, "If I hadn't already been a radical, [Graham's murder] would have made me a radical right then." The strike helped shape Highlander's labor education program, which thereafter examined the various roles played in labor conflict by newspapers, churches, the power structure, and other community forces. Wilder also confirmed for Horton what he already knew: the power structure's determination in the 1930s and '40s (omitting the war years) to cripple labor unions. He later experienced in the 1950s and '60s the power structure mobilization to stem the tide of racial integration in schools and public places. Zilphia Mae Johnson (Mrs. Myles Horton), 1935 The first Mrs. Myles Horton was Zilphia Mae Johnson (d. 1956) from Paris, Arkansas. She was the privileged daughter of an Arkansas coal mine operator and College of the Ozarks graduate, a talented, classically trained musician. Influenced by radical Presbyterian minister Claude Williams, she wanted to use her musical and dramatic talents to advance working people in labor unions. In this, she clashed with and parted from her conservative father. A friend got her to attend a 2-month Highlander winter session to learn about the labor movement. She and Myles fell in love and were married on March 6, 1935. She then studied about workers' theater at the New Theatre School, New York City. At Highlander, she taught drama, play-writing, public speaking, wrote and directed plays based on labor strikes, and led square dancing and singing. Zilphia Horton had a gift for using music, drama, and dance to advance labor union concerns and civil rights. She united people, mellowed differences, and lifted spirits. By collecting songs and encouraging Highlander students to collect and sing them, she involved communities around Highlander, helped heal wounds, lessened suspicions, and fostered cultural pride. Through Zilphia, Highlander's cultural programs gained national and even international renown when the British Broadcasting Corporation presented a cultural program from Highlander in March 1937. Zilphia Horton also helped make folk song "We Shall Overcome" a national and international favorite among the oppressed. Originally an Afro-American folk song, "We Will Overcome" became a Baptist hymn and was sung by union members to raise picket line morale at a Charleston, SC, Congress of Industrial Organizations' Food and Tobacco Workers strike. Two women members from that union sang it at Highlander in 1946. Zilphia recognized the hymn's emotional appeal, slowed the tempo, added verses, and sang it at meetings. Pete Seeger (1919-) learned it from Zilphia in 1947, altered its title to "We Shall Overcome," added verses, and sang it at 1950s folk song concerts around the country. Folk singer Guy Carawan (1927-), who with his wife Candie worked at Highlander, further refined it and added the verse, "We Shall Not be Moved," during a police raid 7

on Highlander, the night of July 31, 1959. It was sung at Highlander workshops, at civil rights gatherings from the 1960s, and became the freedom song heard round the world. Zilphia and Myles Horton were married 21 years, had a son and daughter, when she tragically died. Reaching for a glass she thought held water, she drank some carbon tetrachloride, realized her error, induced vomiting, and phoned her physician, who assured her that she had remedied the accident. But the poison aggravated a kidney condition discovered at Vanderbilt Hospital, Nashville, where she died of uremic poisoning, April 11, 1956. Citizenship Schools for Voter Registration, 1957-61 Two South Carolina black leaders, later to become more prominent, attended Highlander's August 1954 workshop titled "World Problems, the United Nations, and You," comparing discrimination in the South with discrimination in other countries. Esau Jenkins (died 1972), a businessman and community leader from Johns Island, SC, accompanying Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), a Charleston, SC, teacher, was more interested in adult black literacy than in the United Nations. Esau Jenkins wanted his neighbors to learn to read and write and so qualify to vote. Highlander's staff hesitated to fully back Esau Jenkins because it was then busy training black leaders for the public school desegregation movement. It took Jenkins and Clark some time to convince Horton that Johns Island blacks needed Highlander's help in getting adult literacy classes started. These literacy classes did begin on Johns Island, spread to other Sea Islands, and then throughout the South. It became Highlander's most successful training program and significantly increased black voter registration, black political awareness and involvement, and helped elect black mayors, sheriffs, and other officials in the l970s and '80s. Johns Island, six miles south of Charleston, SC, with a 1954 population of 4,000, is the largest of the Sea Island chain along the South Carolina and Georgia coast. Inhabitants, 67 percent black (other islands had higher black proportions), lived just above the subsistence level. Some owned farms and small businesses. Most worked on large truck farms or in Charleston as servants or as factory and shipyard hands. Gullah was their home language, an African dialect mixed with English. Until the Works Progress Administration built bridges in the 1930s, inhabitants went by boat to Charleston. Jenkins, a Johns Island leader, had supplemented his fourth grade education with night classes. Converting his small cotton farm to truck farming, he learned enough Greek to help him sell produce to Charleston's Greek vegetable merchants. He was PTA president, church school superintendent, assistant pastor in his church, and also ran a small bus line to the mainland. During the 45-minute drive, he distributed, explained, and discussed 8

the South Carolina state constitution and voting laws, thus encouraging passengers to learn to read and write to pass voter registration literacy tests. Black islanders were suspicious of and white authorities were also hostile to outside do-gooders. To overcome this dilemma, Myles Horton decided to train potential black island leaders at Highlander and send them back to conduct Citizenship Schools. The schools were thus all-black, local, and largely self-taught. Septima Clark sent field reports of progress and problems to Highlander, whose white staff were seldom seen and thus avoided any hostile local newspaper publicity for the first three years. Horton deliberately chose Bernice Robinson, a black beautician, as the first Citizenship School teacher, who began teaching on January 7, 1957. She was Septima Clark's niece. A black beautician with black customers was not dependent on and hence not intimidated by the white power structure. Her parlor was a community center and she was a natural community leader. Bernice Robinson (1917-), born in Charleston, earned her high school diploma through night school in New York City, where she went to better herself. Returning to Charleston in 1947 to help her ailing parents, she actively advanced race relations through the YWCA and the NAACP. She could find work only as a self-employed beautician and dressmaker. Esau Jenkins formed a Progressive Club in order to purchase a building (with a loan from a Highlander grant), sold gasoline outside and groceries inside while citizenship classes were held in the back. Bernice Robinson treated the adult illiterates as adults, avoiding the use of elementary school teaching materials and child-size school furniture. She taught islanders such practical things as how to write their own names, read and understand a newspaper, fill out mail order and money order forms, and do some arithmetic. The class met two hours a night, two nights a week, for some three months. She had seen a large United Nations Declaration of Human Rights poster at Highlander, obtained a copy, and posted it for all in the class to learn to read and understand by the end of the course. The Citizenship Schools succeeded beyond expectations. Citizenship School teaching materials were collected into booklets, distributed in South Carolina, and later revised to fit voter registration requirements in Tennessee and Georgia. Guy Carawan, in Highlander "singing schools," improvised lyrics for spirituals and folk songs that urged people to learn to read, write, register, and vote. Citizenship Schools spread to Huntsville, AL, and Savannah, GA, 1960-61, straining resources at Highlander, then in debt and about to be closed by hostile Tennessee authorities. In August 1961, Highlander handed over its Citizenship School programs to the Martin Luther King, Jr.-led Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Septima Clark, who continued working with Citizenship Schools under SCLC, estimated that between 1954-70 they helped some 100,000 blacks learn to read and write. Highlander Attacked, 1953-61 9

As Highlander's civil rights activities increased, so too did segregationists' attacks. Fear of communist internal subversion pervaded the U.S. in the 1950s, aggravated by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy's communistsin-government alarmist charges. Worried by the liberal tide, segregationists mobilized state authority and police to try to roll back the cumulative effects of the May 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Brown v Board of Education desegregation decision; the 1955 Montgomery, AL, bus boycott; the 1957-58 Little Rock, AR, school desegregation crisis; the 1961 black college student lunch counter sit-ins (begun February 1, 1961, Greensboro, NC); and the 1961 white and black freedom bus riders challenging southern segregated public facilities (begun May 4, 1961). Attacks on Highlander were based on false communist conspiracy charges, going back to the 1930s. Paul Crouch, a known paid informer for red-baiting groups, told a Chattanooga reporter that while he was Tennessee Communist Party head, 1939-41, Highlander had 25 Communist Party members. Crouch had been court martialed in the U.S. Army, served 2 years in the federal prison at Alcatraz. In the 1954 U.S. Democratic Senatorial campaign, Pat Sutton, running against Senator Estes Kefauver (1903-63), cited Paul Crouch's testimony that Highlander's Dombroski and Horton were communists. Sutton lost two-to-one to Kefauver, a friend of Horton's, who avoided mentioning Highlander. In the spring of 1954, Mississippi Senator James O. Eastland (1904-86), white supremacist planter and Joseph McCarthy imitator, headed the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security, investigating "subversive" southern liberal organizations, including Highlander. Sen. Eastland believed that a well publicized investigation of Highlander would help his 1954 Senate reelection. He was also convinced that communists promoted racial equality in order to disrupt and take over the United States government. Eastland tied Highlander to a conspiracy web that included Virginia Durr (Highlander trustee), sister-in-law of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and wife of Clifford Judkins Durr (18991975), New Deal official, Progressive Party Senate candidate in 1948, and an anti-poll tax activist. The March 1954 hearings, dealing with alleged communist activities of Highlander's Dombroski, Mrs. Durr, Horton, and others, ended in raucous disorder with Horton physically dragged from the committee room. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revoked Highlander's tax exempt status three times between 1957-71. Its tax exempt status was restored on appeal each time. Horton believed this harassment was aimed at stopping Highlander's school integration efforts. In 1954 the Georgia legislature created a Commission on Education whose aim was to counter school desegregation efforts. The Commission used undercover agents to probe Koinonia Farm, located in Americus, GA, which had jointly sponsored with Highlander integrated children's camps in Tennessee in 1956-57. 10

On Labor Day weekend, 1957, as Highlander was celebrating its 25th anniversary, Georgia Commission agents photographed Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Myles Horton, and a publicly acknowledged black communist (who, he later admitted, had conspired with the agents to be in the photo). In October 1957 the Georgia Commission published a 4-page paper titled "Highlander Folk School: Communist Training School, Monteagle, Tennessee," with photos of Highlander's interracial meetings. The Georgia Commission distributed 250,000 copies of this 4-page paper, and White Citizens' Councils and the Ku Klux Klan distributed over a million copies by 1959. Southern newspapers, including the Atlanta Constitution, published articles on Highlander, labeling it at worst communist and at best pro-Communist. The photo of Martin Luther King at Highlander was displayed by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, printed as a postcard for easy mailing by the John Birch Society, and appeared blown up in 1965 on billboards across the South titled, "Martin Luther King at Communist Training School." When Highlander's fire insurance was canceled in 1957-58, Horton suspected that segregationists were using economic pressure against the school. Several southern state legislatures formed committees during 1957-59 to investigate causes of racial unrest. An Arkansas committee headed by the Arkansas' Attorney General tied Highlander to the Little Rock public school integration disturbances. The Arkansas Attorney General offered to supply evidence to the Tennessee legislature to help them close Highlander. On January 26, 1959, the Tennessee legislature appointed a committee to investigate Highlander, using evidence collected by the Georgia Commission on Education. The charge was that Highlander was integrated, promoted integration, was subversive, promoted communism, allowed free love between the races; that it was not a school approved by state authorities, had no qualified faculty, and awarded no diplomas. Horton was also charged with operating Highlander for personal profit, because the trustees had given him his house and 76 acres. The last charge--that Highlander sold spirits without a license--followed a July 31, 1959, police raid on Highlander which found beer and some whisky. Horton replied to each charge. Yes, Highlander was always integrated, as was implied in its charter. No, Highlander was not subversive but allowed all points of view to be discussed. Communism was disapproved of because it was authoritarian and against Highlander's spirit of open inquiry. No, Highlander did not condone free love, but in square dancing and folk dancing hands were held and bodies sometimes touched. No, Highlander on principle did not issue diplomas and taught by discussing problems and issues, as did many adult education institutions. Yes, Highlander did give Horton his house and 76 acres in lieu of over 20 years without salary for himself and Zilphia Horton. Yes, beer was kept at Highlander because nearby cafes would not serve racially mixed groups and a money kitty was kept to replenish drinks. 11

Tennessee authorities found Highlander guilty of selling beer without a license and guilty of questionable financial practices (citing the gift of Horton's house and land). Other charges were dropped. The trial sapped Horton's and other Highlander staff's time and energy, yet their programs continued. Appeals delayed the closing of Highlander at Monteagle until August 1961. By then Horton and legal advisers had obtained a new charter which met Tennessee regulations. A renamed Highlander Research and Education Center began in Knoxville, 1961-71, and still continues (in 2009) at New Market, near Knoxville. Highlander in Knoxville, 1961-71, was frequently harassed. The City Council, dominated by wealthy grocer Cas Walker, passed an ordinance that all educational institutions be approved by the Council. Police came with warrants, which Highlander staff ignored, knowing that such legislation was not retroactive and hence not binding. But the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of the school; there were phone threats and crank calls. Once, in a Maryville, TN, restaurant, Horton and a Highlander lawyer were badly beaten while their horrified wives watched. Horton kept on with his work. The lawyer had to close his office and move to another state. Last Years Horton retired as educational director in 1971; still lived and was a consultant at Highlander; and traveled to talk about the Highlander idea to adult educators in China, the Philippines, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and Nicaragua. He was frequently interviewed, most notably on Bill Moyers' Journal, "Adventures of a Radical Hillbilly," Public Broadcasting System, WGBH, Boston, June 5 and 11, 1981. Still, Horton remained obscure to the general public, a minor figure except to those who knew and valued him as a fighter over The Long Haul. Horton chose this title for his 1990 autobiography because, he wrote, as a young man he sought and found at Highlander an all-encompassing high moral task that could not be completed in one lifetime. He wrote that he had learned to sublimate his simmering anger at injustice by fighting a lifelong battle for justice. After completing his autobiographical The Long Haul, Horton died at Highlander on January 19, 1990. Success or Failure? Horton had many failures. When requested to do so, he started a Highlander in New Mexico, which failed, and a Highlander in Chicago, which also failed. 12

He later came to see that the Highlander idea fitted third world conditions and succeeded in Appalachia only because Appalachia has third world characteristics of being exploited and largely owned by outside business interests. He did anticipate two major social movements in which Highlander had some success and made a definite contribution: unionized labor in the 1930s-40s (Highlander trained early southern CIO leaders); and civil rights in the l950s-60s. Highlander helped train most major and many minor black leaders of the 1950s-80s. Highlander's Citizenship Schools helped enfranchise many black people. Public schools historically teach what is and so perpetuate the status quo. They follow and seldom lead in reshaping the political, economic, and social class system. At Highlander, which was private, small, and committed to clear social uplift goals--Horton taught adult leaders what ought to be and tactics on how to achieve equality. In challenging injustice and trying to reshape social-economic-political forces, Horton was a Social Reconstructionist like George S. Counts, who wrote Dare the School Build a New Social Order?; Harold Rugg, who early wrote social studies textbooks; and Theodore Brameld, defender of a reconstructed education for a reconstructed world. Horton, who knew and admired both Counts and Brameld, was a revolutionary adult education reformer who found his niche in helping empower oppressed people to fight for justice and a fairer share of the American promise. He knew that he had not ushered in the second American revolution, had not brought full justice and dignity to those denied them, but had cared enough and dared enough to fight for a better world. Myles Horton Chronology 1905, July 5 Myles Falls Horton born, Savannah, TN, to Elsie Falls and Perry Horton. 1920-24 While in high school, he worked as a store clerk, at a sawmill, and in a box factory. 1924-28 Attended Cumberland University (Cumberland Presbyterian Church), Lebanon, TN. 1927, Summer Organized Bible schools for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Was already skeptical of organized religion. At Ozone, TN, first experience at letting people discuss their problems and find their own solutions. 1928-29 YMCA organizer at Tennessee schools and colleges. 1929-30 Studied at Union Theological Seminary, NY. Won friendship of theologian and social gospel activist Reinhold Niebuhr. 13

1930-31 Studied at the University of Chicago. Influenced by sociologist Robert Park, Jane Addams of Hull House, and 2 Danish-born clergymen who told him of Danish folk high schools. 1931-32 Studied folk high schools in Denmark. 1932, Fall Returned to TN. He and Don West founded Highlander Folk School, Grundy County, near Monteagle, TN, leasing a house and land from Dr. Lilian Johnson, retired educator and philanthropist. Funds came in response to an appeal letter sent by Niebuhr and endorsed by George S. Counts, Sherwood Eddy, Norman Thomas, and others. 1932-33 Horton and Highlander students aided United Mine Workers (UMW) local union strikers, Wilder, TN. 1933, April 1 Don West left to help organize miners in Kentucky and textile workers in North Carolina. 1933, June Highlander convened its "First Annual Socialist Summer School." (15 attended). 1933, December Helped form the Cumberland Mountain Cooperative to buy basic foods. Also had a sewing cooperative (made quilts) and a nursery school cooperative for area children. 1934 Resident students involved in strike at Harriman, TN. 1935 Dr. Lilian Johnson deeded her house and land to Highlander. Horton married Zilphia Johnson, a musician and social activist (no relation to Dr. Lilian Johnson). 1935 Summer Labor Chautauqua held at Highlander. 1935 December Began Grundy County, TN, program to unionize and educate underpaid WPA relief workers (taught them such skills as letter writing, petitioning, and contacting Congressmen). 1936 Picket line classes for striking textile workers, Knoxville. 1937-47 Most of Highlander staff time devoted to training members for leadership in CIO-affiliated unions. 1939 Grundy County WPA relief workers "stay-in strike" started Feb. 10, 1939. Entire families occupied WPA offices. 1938-40 Extensive residential courses to develop labor union leadership. 14

1940-44 Continued large-scale extension programs to train CIO and other union officers, leaders, and members. 1944 First interracial union-related resident course at Highlander (blacks had been welcome at Highlander from its beginning; white unionists were traditionally racist). 1945-47 CIO union work continued. The increasingly bureaucratic CIO formed its own Research and Education Department. 1948-49 Increasing Highlander-CIO tension because of Cold War anticommunist pressures (Highlander, determined to be open to all, refused to be officially anticommunist). Their creative relationship ended, but the CIO held summer schools at Highlander, 1950-52. 1940s Horton and others actively organized Farmers' Unions in the South. 1951 National Farmers' Union withdrew from the South. 1954 Before Mississippi Sen. Eastland's Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, Horton answered questions about his own political affiliations but refused to answer questions about other Highlander staff members. 1953-56 Highlander workshops trained black and white desegregation leaders. 1956 Zilphia Horton (Mrs. Horton), Highlander singing and dance leader, died. 1957 Highlander 25th anniversary celebration attended by Eleanor Roosevelt, a Highlander financial supporter. 1957-61 Citizenship School Program for literacy/voter registration, Sea Islands, SC, black people. 1960-61 Workshops on race relations for southern college students. 1961, Fall Highlander transferred the Citizenship School Program to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Tennessee authorities closed down Highlander Folk School, Monteagle. Its buildings were burned by arsonists. State of TN granted a new charter to Highlander Research and Education Center, Knoxville (where it remained for 10 years, 1961-71). 1962 Workshops, seminars, and evening classes conducted mainly for Knoxville residents. 15

1963-68 Highlander's emphasis shifted with the growing popularity of Black Power to civil rights-related projects in the deep South. 1968 Highlander staff participated in the Poor People's Campaign and Resurrection City, Washington, DC. 1969 Horton organized Highlander West in New Mexico, but the project soon closed. 1969-70 Highlander project in Chicago to serve Appalachian and Puerto Rican youth eventually failed. 1971 Highlander moved to New Market, TN, near Knoxville, and increasingly concentrated on southern Appalachian problem. Horton retired as education director but remained active and lived at Highlander. 1970s, late Horton led several trips to Chin 1980s Horton believed Highlander imitators not successful in the U.S. except in Appalachia because Appalachia has third world colonial characteristics (owned and exploited by outside corporations). He visited Highlandertype institutions in the Philippines, India, Malaysia, and among aborigines in New Zealand and Australia. Visited Nicaragua after Daniel Ortega became President (believing socialism could succeed there). 1990, Jan. 19 Horton died at Highlander, age 85. 1992, Sept. 29 Don West , cofounder with Horton of Highlander, died (born 1906). Bibliography: Dissertations Dressler, Dennis Wayne (Ph.D.). "In the Service of Adults: A. A. Liveright, An American Adult Educator," North Texas State University, 1987. Franson, Jerome D. (Ph.D.). "Citizenship Education in the South Carolina Sea Islands, 1954-1966," George Peabody College for Teachers, 1977. Glen, John Mathew (Ph.D.). "On the Cutting Edge: A History of the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1962," Vanderbilt University, 1985. (See his book below.) Horton, Aimee Isgrig. (Ph.D.). [Myles Horton's second wife] "The Highlander Folk School: A History of the Development of Its Major Programs Related to Social Movements in the South, 1932-1961," University of Chicago, 1971. (See her book below.) 16

Oldendorf, Sandra Brenneman (Ed.D.). "Highlander Folk School and the South Carolina Sea Island Citizenship Schools: Implications for the Social Studies," University of Kentucky, 1987. Petty, Anne W. (Ph.D.). "Dramatic Activities and Workers' Education at Highlander Folk School, 1932-1942," Bowling Green State University, 1979. Books Adams, Frank T. James A. Dombroski: An American Heretic, 1897-1983. New Market, TN: Highland Research and Education Center, 1992. Adams, Frank T., and Myles Horton. Unearthing Seeds of Fire: The Idea of Highlander. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 1975. Alinsky, Saul D. Reveille for Radicals. New York: Vintage Books, 1969. Bledsoe, Thomas. Or We'll All Hang Separately: The Highlander Idea. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969. Brameld, Theodore, ed. Workers' Education in the United States. Fifth Yearbook of the John Dewey Society. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1941. Carawan, Guy, and Candie Carawan. Voices from the Mountains. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975. Clark, Septima Poinsette, and Le Getta Blyth. Echo in my Soul. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1962. Draves, Bill. The Free University: A Model for Lifelong Learning. Chicago: Association Press, 1980. Durr, Virginia Foster. Outside the Magic Circle: The Autobiography of Virginia Foster Durr. Edited by Hollinger F. Barnard. University: University of Alabama Press, 1985. Glen, John M. Highlander: No Ordinary School 1932-1962. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988. (See his dissertation above.) Horton, Aimee Isgrig [Myles Horton's second wife]. The Highlander Folk School: A History of Its Major Programs, 1932-1961. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson, 1989. (See her dissertation above.)


Horton, Myles. The Long Haul: An Autobiography of Myles Horton. Edited by Judith Kohl and Herbert Kohl. New York: Doubleday, 1990. [Horton, Myles. "Still Fired Up." [Excerpts from The Long Haul] in Mother Jones, 15, 2 (February/March 1990), p. 11.] Horton, Myles, and Paulo Freire. We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change. Edited by Brenda Bell, John Gaventa, and John Peters. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990. Jarvis, Peter. Adult Learning in the Social Context. London: Croom Helm, 1987. Kennedy, William Bean. Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1986. Klibaner, Irwin. Conscience of a Troubled South: The Southern Conference Educational Fund, 1946-1966. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing Co., 1989. Morris, Aldon D. Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change. New York: Free Press, 1984. Seeger, Pete, and Bob Reiser. Everybody Says Freedom: A History of the Civil Rights Movement in Songs and Pictures. New York: W.W. Norton, 1989, pp. 2, 3-7, 8, 25, 34-35, 37-39, 119, 174, 235. Tjerandsen, Carl. Education for Citizenship: A Foundation's Experience. Santa Cruz, CA: Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation, 1980. (Excerpt in Convergence, 15, 6 [1983], pp. 10-22.) Wigginton, Eliot, ed. and Introduction. Refuse to Stand Silently By: An Oral History of Grass Roots Social Activism in America, 1921-64. New York: Doubleday, 1991. Williams, Juan. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1964. New York: Penguin Books, 1988, pp. 64-66. Chapters in Books Cotten, Dorothy, and Myles Horton. "Citizenship Schools," Roots of Open Education in America: Reminiscences and Reflections. Edited by Ruth Dropkin and Arthur Tobier. New York: City College Workshop Center for Open Education, 1976, pp. 101-117. Horton, Myles. "Decision-Making Processes," Educational Reconstruction: Promise and Challenge. Edited by Nobuo Shimahara. Columbus, OH: Merrill Publishing Co., 1973, pp. 323-341. 18

Horton, Myles. "Influences on Highlander Research and Education Center, New Market, TN, USA," Grundtvig's Ideas in North America--Influences and Parallels. Copenhagen: Danish Institute, 1983. Horton, Myles, and Claudia Lewis. "Highlander," Roots of Open Education in America: Reminiscences and Reflections. Edited by Ruth Dropkin and Arthur Tobier. New York: City College Workshop Center for Open Education, 1976, pp. 73-90. Peters, John M., and Brenda Bell. "Horton of Highlander," Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult Education. Edited by Peter Jarvis. London: Croom Helm, 1987, pp. 243-264. Articles and Biographical Entries Adams, Frank, "In the Company of a Listener," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 31-34. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") Austin, Aleine, "Zilphia," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 48-52. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") . Bari, Judi, and Judith Kohl, "Environmental Justice: Highlander After Myles," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 71-77. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School."). Braden, Anne, "Doing the Impossible," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 26-30. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") Brown, Cynthia Stokes, "Giving Aunt Donnie Her Due," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 19-25. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") Carawan, Guy and Candie, "I'm Gonna Let It Shine: Singing at Highlander," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 44-47. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School"). Clark, Mike, and Colin Greer, "A Culture of Politics," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 53-57. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School."). Conti, Gary J. "Rebels with a Cause: Myles Horton and Paulo Freire." Community College Review, 5, 1 (1977), pp. 36-43. 19

Conti, Gary J., and Robert A. Fellenz. "Myles Horton: Ideas That Have Withstood the Test of Time." Adult Literacy and Basic Education, 10, 1 (November 1, 1986), pp. 1-18. Gaventa, John, " Carrying On...," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 68-70. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School."). Hilliard, Asa, "Postscript: Waking the Students Up," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 78-79. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School."). "Johnson, Lilian Wycoff." Who Was Who in America, Vol. IV 1961-1968. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1968, p. 498. Kazemek, Francis E. "Adult Literacy Education: an Ethical Endeavor." Adult Literacy and Basic Education, 8, 2 (1982), pp. 61-72. Kennedy, William Bean. "Highlander Praxis: Learning with Myles Horton." Teachers College Record, 83, 1 (Fall 1981), pp. 105-119. Kohl, Herbert. "A Tradition of Radical Education: Highlander in Context," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 36-43. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") Lester, Julius, "Laughing All the Way," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 8-12. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") MacLean, Kenneth Torquil. "Origins of the Southern Civil Rights Movement: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School." Phi Delta Kappan, 47, 9 (May 1966), pp. 487-497. Matsuyama, Midori, ed. "Reverberations in Kyoto: A Reconstructionist Dialogue by Myles Horton, Theodore Brameld, and Shigeharu Matsuura." Cutting Edge: Journal of the Society for Educational Reconstruction, 10, 3 (Spring 1979), 27-34. Morris, Aldon. "Introduction: Education for Liberation," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 1-6. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") Oldendorf, Sandra Brenneman. "Vocabularies, Knowledge and Social Action in Citizenship Education: The Highlander Example." Theory and Research in Social Education, 17, 2 (Spring 1989), pp. 107-120. 20

Parker, Franklin and Betty J. "Myles Horton (1905-90) and Paulo Freire (1921-), Two Radical Adult Educators: Commentary on Selected Best Books," CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVI, No. 1 (March 1992), Fiche 11 C02. Parker, Franklin and Betty J. "Myles Horton (1905-90) of Highlander: Adult Educator and Southern Activist." Proceedings of the Forty-Second Annual Meeting, Southwestern Philosophy of Education Society, Volume XLII. Edited by Wayne Willis. Morehead, KY: Morehead State University, 1992, pp. 27-43; same in Option: Journal of the Folk Education Association of America, XVII, No. 2 (Fall 1993), pp. 15-29; same in Skole: The Journal of Alternative Education, Vol. XI, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. ?-?; abstract in Resources in Education, XXVII, No. 2 (February 1992), p. 21 Educational Resources in Collections (ERIC ED 336 615); also reprinted in ERIC ED 399 093); and in CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVI, No. 1 (March 1992), Fiche 11 A02. Parker, Franklin and Betty J. "State Had Influence on MLK [Myles Horton]: Lion and the Lamb," Crossville (Tenn.) Chronicle, January 11, 1995, p. 4A Phenix, Lucy Massie, "Myles' Legacy," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 13-18. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School.") Saunders, Bill, "Local Organizing: South Carolina," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 58-61. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School."). Sterne, Emma Gelders. "Myles Horton." They Took Their Stand. New York: Crowell-Collier Press, 1968, pp. 144-154. Sullivan, Pat. "Horton, Myles." Biographical Dictionary of the American Left. Edited by Bernard K. Johnpoll and Harvey Klehr. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986, pp. 215-216. Surratt, Marshall. "Myles Horton: Activism and Gospel: Highlander Center and the Tradition of the Social Gospel." Christianity and Crisis, 50, 18 (December 17, 1990), pp. 398-402. Waller, Maxine, "Local Organizing: Ivanhoe, Virginia," Social Policy, 21, 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 62-67. (Theme issue: "Building Movements, Educating Citizens: Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School."). Wilson, Charles Reagan, and William Ferris, eds. "Highlander." Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989, pp. 1417-1418.


Wingfield, Marshall. "Lilian Wycoff Johnson." Literary Memphis: A Survey of Its Writers and Writings. Memphis, TN: West Tennessee Historical Society , 1942, pp. 39-40. Television Interview Bill Moyers' Journal, "Adventures of a Radical Hillbilly," Interview with Myles Horton. Public Broadcasting System, WGBH, Boston, June 5 and 11, 1981. Unpublished Papers Fellenz, Robert A., and Gary J. Conti. "Social Environment and Adult Learning." Paper read at Institute sponsored by the Center for Adult Learning Research, Big Sky, MT, July 31, 1989. Franson, Jerome. "A Decade of Attacks on the Highlander Folk School: 1951-1961." Prepared for History 397 Class, George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, TN, December 22, 1971. Obituaries Narvaez, Alfonse A. "Myles Horton, 84, Head of School in South That Defied Racial Bias," New York Times (January 20, 1990), p. 12. Saxon, Wolfgang. "Don West, 86, Dies; Champion of Poor, Workers and Blacks," New York Times (October 2, 1992), p. A15. Seeger, Pete. "Passages: Myles Horton, 1907-1990," Utne Reader, No. 40 (July/August 1990), p. 28. Highlander Collection Highlander Collection; Books, Tapes, Videos, & T-Shirts. New Market, TN 37820: Highlander Research Center, 1959 Highlander Way, 1992. Four page brochure with order form. Addendum: Commentary on Selected Best Books by and about Myles Horton (1905-90and Paulo Freire (1921-), Two Radical Adult Educators Adams, Frank T. James A. Dombroski: An American Heretic, 1897-1983. New Market, TN: Highland Research and Education Center, 1992. 22

Author was director of Highlander during its transition in the late 1960s from Knoxville to its present location. Dombroski , who played a key role in Highlander's early years along with Myles Horton and Don West, was a leading activist in unionizing coal miner and textile workers. Glen, John M. Highlander: No Ordinary School 1932-1962. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988. 309 pages. $30.00 Hardcover. ISBN 0-8131-17617-1. Horton, Aimee Isgrig. The Highlander Folk School: A History of Its Major Programs, 1932-1961. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson, 1989. 356 pages. $70 Hardcover. ISBN 0-926019-13-9. Horton, Myles, with Judith Kohl and Herbert Kohl. The Long Haul: An Autobiography of Myles Horton. New York: Anchor/Doubleday,1990. 231 pages. $10.95 Paperback. $21.95 Hardcover. ISBN 0-385-26313-9. [Horton, Myles. "Still Fired Up." [Excerpts from The Long Haul] in Mother Jones, 15 (February/March 1990), p. 11.] Horton, Myles, and Paulo Freire. We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change. Edited by Brenda Bell, et al. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1990. 256 pages. $24.95 Hardcover. ISBN 0-87722-771-3. This review of recent books by and about radical adult educators Myles Horton and Paulo Freire was prompted by Horton's death on January 19, 1990; by the publication of The Long Haul: An Autobiography of Myles Horton, 1990; and by meetings between Horton and Freire during 1987-90 resulting in their book, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change. The Highlander Folk School: A History of Its Major Programs, 1932-1961. Wisconsin-born Aimee Isgrig was executive director of the Illinois Commission on Human Relations. She was Myles Horton's second wife, married at Highlander in April 196l. They immediately set out on a fundraising tour to cover Highlander's debts ($7,500), incurred from legal costs in court battles to prevent the school's closing. Her 1989 book, The Highlander Folk School: A History of Its Major Programs, 1932-1961, is based on her 1971 University of Chicago doctoral dissertation of the same title. It relies on original sources and is a carefully documented history of Highlander's programs during its first 30 years. The book is well-crafted, balanced, and carefully objective about Myles Horton's life and career as an adult educator. It does, however, stress, as intended, the positive results of Highlander programs. Highlander: No Ordinary School 1932-1962 23

By far the best all-round study of Myles Horton's career and Highlander programs is John M. Glen's Highlander: No Ordinary School, 1932-1962. He spent 10 years exploring Horton and Highlander. The result first appeared in an exhaustively researched doctoral dissertation completed in 1985 at Vanderbilt University's Department of History, titled "On the Cutting Edge: A History of the Highlander Folk School, 1931-1962." The dissertation is the basis of his 1988 book. His 60 printed pages of Notes indicate the author's scrupulous attention to sources. His l3-printed-page Bibliographical Essay lists manuscript sources, oral interviews, contemporary sources, and secondary sources. The Bibliographical Essay is especially good in listing best sources that place Myles Horton's accomplishments at Highlander in the context of the socioeconomic, political, labor, race relations, and industrial setting of the period. The book is thorough, objective, and well written. The Long Haul: An Autobiography of Myles Horton The Long Haul won the 1990 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, endowed by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., from earnings from his biography, Robert Kennedy and His Times: The Unpublished Recollections of the Kennedy Years (New York: Bantam, 1989). The presenter at the award ceremony said that it is made to those authors who "most faithfully and forcefully reflect Robert Kennedy's purpose--his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and evenhanded justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity." The endorsement on the book jacket by Studs Terkel (author of Working and a Chicago radio interviewer) reads: "Were I to choose America's most influential and inspiring educator, it would be Myles Horton of Highlander." Bill Moyers, Public Broadcasting System broadcaster, wrote in the preface about Horton (he interviewed Myles Horton, on Bill Moyers' Journal, "Adventures of a Radical Hillbilly, June 5 and 11, 1981, on WGBH, Boston): "He's been beaten up, locked up, put upon and railed against by racists, toughs, demagogues, and governors. But for more than 50 years now, he has gone on with his special kind of teaching--helping people to discover within themselves the courage and ability to confront reality and changes." These endorsements show Myles Horton's impact on key liberals aware of his unique place in the history of recent U.S. social reform. Judith Kohl and Herbert Kohl made this autobiography possible. They recorded Myles Horton's recollections, first, because they admired his contributions as a radical southern adult education reformer; and, second, because he had always avoided lengthy serious writing about himself and his work, preferring to "talk out" his articles and books to interviewers.


Herbert Kohl wrote the sensitively appealing 36 Children (New York: New American Library, 1967) about the black children he taught in a Harlem ghetto school. His other books reflect his career as a progressive teacher, an Open Classroom advocate, and an alternative school leader. He first learned of Myles Horton in 1977, when fellow educator Joe Nathan sent him a review he had written of Unearthing Seeds of Fire: The Idea of Highlander (Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, l975) by Frank Adams and Myles Horton. Fascinated with the Myles Horton story, Kohl was then helping to plan a Chicago meeting of the Alternative Schools Network. He planned to invite Brazilian educator Paulo Freire to the Chicago meeting and hoped to use Freire's presence to lure Horton there, too. He would then have brought together two of the world's best known radical adult educators. The ruse worked. Myles Horton's remarks at the meeting further impressed Kohl, who described Horton then as "an older man..., rather tall with gray hair, glasses, and a thoroughly engaging if a bit wicked smile." Kohl accepted an invitation to visit Highlander, urging his wife to go with him, because he expected (as he wrote in "How This Book Came About," [p. xiv]) that "our visit to Myles would have a major impact on our lives." Judith Kohl continued the background narrative, describing the fall 1977 meeting at Highlander, which was then conducting a seminar with former coal miners suffering from black lung disease. Then followed several other meetings in the Kohl home in San Francisco, in London in 1985, and on a trip to exchange views with coal miners in Wales. Originally intending to write a book on Horton, the Kohls, after tape recording his anecdotal remembrances, asking probing questions, and making judicious queries, found that they already had recorded his autobiography and his educational and philosophical ideas. The Long Haul thus became Myles Horton's book (with sales proceeds going to Highlander) as he patiently went over and carefully corrected the many drafts. Besides Horton's recollections, the Kohls used Adams and Horton's Unearthing Seeds of Fire, Aimee I. Horton's University of Chicago Ph.D. dissertation, and John M. Glen's Highlander: No Ordinary School 1932-1962 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988), and other published works. They also verified Horton's recollections by checking records in the archives at Highlander, New Market, TN; and in the Highlander Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison. The autobiography is organized chronologically with many photos which show the training of textile worker union leaders and coal miner union leaders in the 1930s and '40s, and blacks and whites discussing problems and tactics at Highlander during the racially tense 1950s and '60s. Highlander seminars enrolled such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernethy, and Andrew Young; involved folk singers Pete Seeger and the Guy Carawans; and had such liberal supporters as Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, and others. 25

The Long Haul is a readable account of turbulent times, offering a rich picture of the rural South during and after the Great Depression, when textile workers, coal miners, and blacks struggled for justice. Above all, it is the story of Myles Horton, a dreamer turned adult educator who, working in the South with the poor and the powerless, helped them use their own experiences and insights to develop strengths and tactics with which to change things for the better. We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change The last book is a verbal exchange between Myles Horton and Paolo Freire about circumstances of their time and life experiences which made them radical adult educators. Paolo Freire is the better known international adult education theorist and leader, famous for his work in his native Brazil, in Chile, at UNESCO; and for his provocative books, including Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970. Horton, described in the foregoing article and admired by American professional adult educators and social activists, is becoming better known to a wider U.S. audience because of recent books about him. Freire, born into a middle class family in Recife, port city of northeastern Brazil, experienced near poverty during the 1930s Depression. Despite straitened family circumstances and academic setbacks, he taught Portuguese in a secondary school and attended the University of Recife, where he earned a law degree. He preferred not to practice law but to work as a welfare officer. He later became Director, Department of Education and Culture of the Social Service, State of Pernumbuco, where he worked with the urban poor, 1946-52. From 1954 he taught history and philosophy of education at the University of Recife, where he earned a doctor's degree in 1959. In 1960 almost half (15.5 million) of Brazil's 34.5 million people were illiterate and could not vote. Accompanying a Roman Catholic social liberation movement in Brazil and after the 1961 election of populist President J. Goulart, basic literacy education flourished. Freire, as Director of the University of Recife's Cultural Extension Service and as head of the National Literacy Program of Brazil's Ministry of Education and Culture, achieved renown for his radical "conscientization" approach to adult literacy. Freire's "conscientization" theory held that education is seldom neutral, that to be literate implies responsibility to participate in the political process, and that to participate politically implies responsibility to help revise Brazil's laws to improve conditions for the poor. When, however, the Goulart government fell to conservatives in April 1964, adult literacy and other popular movements were suppressed. Freire was jailed for 70 days, during which he began writing his first major educational work, Education as the Practice of Freedom. Expelled from Brazil, he worked in adult education in Chile, 1964-69; promoted world literacy for UNESCO in Geneva, 1969-70; and was invited to lecture at Harvard University's Center for Studies in Education during the years of racial unrest in the U.S. 26

Horton and Freire had known of each other and admired each other from a distance for 20 years. They first met in 1973 at a Chicago adult education conference, met again at conferences in New York, California, and in Nicaragua. But a busy agenda always kept them from spending much time together. It was at a meeting in Los Angeles in July 1987 that Freire first suggested to Horton that they "speak a book" together. Horton was then in Los Angeles visiting his daughter and recovering from colon cancer. Freire was in Los Angeles speaking at a symposium in honor of his recently deceased wife of 42 years, Elza Freire. Horton anticipated the pleasure of the project. He knew that they both previously had gotten their ideas into print by talking out their experiences in tape recorded interviews. Mutual friends arranged for them to converse at the University of Tennessee, a meeting which was then continued in early December 1987 at Highlander, New Market, TN. In a relaxed atmosphere they reminisced about their backgrounds and experiences. It was like a dance between old companions, accustomed to each other's leads and responses. We Make the Road by Walking (Freire adapted the title from Spanish poet Antonio Machada's phrase, "You make the way as you go") retains the pair's spontaneity, cognitive leaps, and occasional discontinuities. The three editors, acting as listening friends (referred to in the book as the Third Party), kept the dialogue flowing by prodding the discussants when needed with a question to jolt them back to the main issue. Editors Brenda Bell and John Peters are connected with adult education at the University of Tennessee. Editor John Gaventa is currently Director of the Highlander Research and Education Center. The Introduction to We Make the Road by Walking briefly portrays and compares Horton and Freire's lives. Each was born into a family slightly more educated and better off than their neighbors. Each lived in the poorest, most exploited parts of their respective countries. Through friends or contacts, both sets of parents sent their sons to nearby towns for high school (Horton and Freire had a good laugh when Horton recalled that he went through the first nine school grades in a Tennessee town named Brazil). Both were independent in their early learning. Unlike their peers, both attended higher education. Both were drawn to social aspects of Christianity, Horton at Union Theological Seminary and influenced by Reinhold Niebuhr's social gospel; Freire influenced by Roman Catholic liberal social action in Recife. Both were greatly influenced by their first wives: Zilphia Horton, who helped with her musical and other talents; Elza Freire, who helped Paulo to listen to rather than to talk down to illiterates. Each first wife preceded her husband in death. Both men remarried women who also aided their work. Each man found fulfillment as a radical adult educator. Horton's success was in training textile and coal mine union leaders and in linking the Citizenship Schools with the civil rights movement. Freire's challenge was in organizing adult literacy along "conscientization" lines during Roman Catholic reforms in Brazil and the Goulart government's liberalism (1961-64). Both men saw 27

the adult education of have-nots as an opportunity to promote socio-economic-political empowerment. Both became revolutionary change agents. Each said he learned to read and write at home, before starting to school, with parents' help and encouragement. Horton read every book he could borrow or cajole, getting into trouble with teachers for unassigned reading. Freire had difficulties because of his rigidly formal elementary schools and because Recife had no free public high schools. After an arduous search, his mother (his father died in 1934 when Paulo was 13) contacted the Osvaldo Cruz School, a prestigious Recife private secondary school, whose director Alvizio Araujo, accepted Paulo. (The director's daughter, Ana Maria, became Freire's second wife in 1988. She is an historian and author of a 1989 history of illiteracy in Brazil.) Myles, a leader in the youth group of his Cumberland Presbyterian Church, also saw the seamier sides of life working as a store clerk after high school hours. He observed leading citizens who cheated on their bills and some who quietly paid bills for black children suspected of being their offsprings. Horton found his life work when, in Ozone, TN, he learned that adults, once they shared their problems, knew what must be done to resolve them, but needed advice on the best way to achieve the resolution. For Freire, who wanted to be and did become a teacher, it was his first wife, Elza, who helped him see that you do not lecture have-not adult illiterates, but you ask them about their concerns and what they think ought to be done to set things right. Horton's greatest challenge was to find how best to conduct the black South Carolina islanders' Citizenship Schools and how to link them with the civil rights movement. Freire's greatest opportunity came in the context of Brazil's early 1960s reform when he taught new literates to use their reading, writing, and thinking skills for political involvement and social change. Freire said that he pursued this "conscientization" of new literates outside of formal schools. To get away from the school atmosphere, he called his discussion group a "Circle of Culture," his teachers "coordinators," and his students "participants." Many other insights are explored in these wide-ranging Horton-Freire dialogues. The best thought are grouped under the headings of Ideas, Education and Social Change, and finally Reflections. Is it possible for education to be neutral? they asked, and answered a qualified no. Both were wary of charismatic leaders, Horton particularly believing that such leaders created unthinking followers. This thought led them to discuss differences between educating and organizing, and so they went on, exploring many interconnected issues. We Make the Road by Walking is compelling reading, a great dialogue on education and social criticism, showing how two great educator-activists went about changing injustice in the world around them. 28

Liberals will relish it, conservatives will be put off by it, and most readers will be charmed by the two democratic radicals. They last met at Highlander in early January 1990 to check the manuscript. The last short epilogue is worth repeating: Myles: Well, you feel contented that we've done all we can do? Paulo: Oh yes. Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I think that it will be a beautiful book. Myles: Yes. I don't see any reason for having any more discussions. Paulo: It is more or less structured. Myles: Let's have a drink. Paulo: Yes. Horton was then gravely ill from the effects of a late 1989 brain tumor operation. He rallied, however, to express pleasure with their meetings and with the manuscript. Three days after Freire left, Horton slipped into a coma. He died on January 19, 1990. Conclusion Because of their impact on adult education, the southern labor movement, and the civil rights movement, historians and others will most likely write about Myles Horton and Highlander again. He and Highlander are certain to appear in later works. The four books here reviewed at least give readers the measure of an unusual man and the school he founded, an iconoclastic adult educator (two adult educators, if you include Paulo Freire). This southern teacher, who loved his country, region, and people, found through his private adult education center (Highlander) that he could reach and influence leaders in the struggle to advance human dignity. Because he labored to fashion a better and fairer society, he is worth knowing. About Authors The Parkers, graduates of Berea College near Lexington, Ky., were married in 1950 and graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana, 1950 and from what is now Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, 1956. Franklin Parker met Myles Horton at annual Spring Conference education meetings while teaching at the Universities of Texas, Austin, 1957-64; Oklahoma, Norman, 1964-68; West Virginia University, Morgantown, 1968-86; Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, 1986-89; and Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, 198994. The Parkers also accompanied a Myles Horton-led group to China in August 1978. 29

Betty Parker, a researcher and writer, wrote and co-edited with Franklin Parker education books and articles; and did extensive research resulting in George Peabody, A Biography, Vanderbilt University, 1971, revised 1995. The Parkers live at Uplands Retirement Community, Pleasant Hill, TN. U.S. mail address: 63 Heritage Loop (Uplands), Crossville, TN 38571, E-mail: bfparker@frontiernet.net

Addendum: For "Franklin Parker Collection 1941-2001" on Myles Horton (1905-90), of Highlander Adult Education Center. TN, see also: http://www.etsu.edu/cass/archives/Collections/afindaid/a598.html

Blog copy from Nonlouder.com 13 July 20009)