CENTERVILLE, TN – Centerville, Tennessee has declared September 2019 as Trail of Tears Month.
During the month of September, Centerville will display 10, double-sided banners depicting a Native American couple and child dressed in traditional Cherokee clothing, on light posts throughout the city.
In addition, the Executive Director of the National Trail of Tears Association Troy Wayne Poteete will speak 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at The Farm Community in Summertown and at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Hickman County Library.
Please call 931-964-2150 to make reservations to attend the Sept. 10 event. The Sept. 11 event will also include a Native American flute performance by Daniel Bey.
Poteete is a storyteller and Cherokee historian. He founded the Historical Society in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, and served as Executive Director of the Cherokee Nation Historical Society. He was a delegate to the Cherokee Nation Constitutional Convention in 1999 and has represented the Cherokee Nation on the Five Civilized Tribes Museum Board. He has also held a post on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council, served as a Justice on the Cherokee Supreme Court, and was a founding member and currently serves as Executive Director of the National Trail of Tears Association.
This effort to raise awareness about the Trail of Tears is due to the work of Tennessee artist Bernice Davidson. She has made it her mission to form a visual corridor through Middle Tennessee marking the Trail of Tears. Past projects include a Trail of Tears Museum in Pulaski; an art display on the town square of Mount Pleasant; a mural in downtown Centerville; and a mural on the town square in Lawrenceburg.
For more information, visit http://bernicedavidsonart.com.
Sponsors of the project include Plenty International of Summertown, Tennessee; Humanities of Tennessee Foundation; Grinders Switch Foundation; The Tennessee Arts Commission; and National Trail of Tears Association.
In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The journey was called the "Trail of Tears" because of migrants faced hunger, exhaustion and disease during the forced march. Approximately 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.