Presenting Oak Ridge’s history

Preserving and highlighting the story of the Secret City earns numerous awards

Oak Ridge residents received several awards representing Anderson County during the June 7 East Tennessee Historical Society Awards Reception.

Awards were presented in categories of History in the Media, Community History, Teaching Excellence, McClung Award, Lifetime Achievement awards, and Ramsey Award of Lifetime Achievement.

Keith McDaniel and Ray Smith received the History in the Media Award for the videocast, “Hidden History: Stories from the Secret City,” a creative approach that has contributed significantly to the understanding and interpretation of Oak Ridge’s history.

WBIR-TV also received an award in the category for exemplary coverage of the anniversary of the Scarboro 85 and the desegregation of Oak Ridge High and Robertsville Junior High schools in 1955.

For Community History for Anderson County, Tina-Henderson-Porter and the Scarboro Community Alumni Association received the award for raising awareness and recognition about the Scarboro 85 through outstanding community engagement efforts and for supporting youth through continuing education scholarship programs.

The 65th Anniversary Desegregation Committee also received the award in this category for researching and promoting the history of the Scarboro 85 and desegregation in Oak Ridge, as well as advocating for an increased awareness of Black history in East Tennessee.

For Teaching Excellence, John Spratling was awarded for preserving and interpreting Black history in East Tennessee through community education.

Specifically, he was recognized for his role as a history teacher at Robertsville Middle School and his work to highlight the legacy of the Scarboro 85.

For Lifetime Achievement, Scarboro 85 was awarded for historical legacy.

Specifically, the award was for the courage shown as the first Black Americans to integrate schools in the Southeast/

That helped create a legacy of hope for a unified nation and the possibility of change amid racial division, segregation, and Jim Crow laws.

A. Warren Dockter, Ph.D, serves as president of the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville.

“This recognition acknowledges the significance of history and the contributions Oak Ridgers are making to share their stories,” said Rose Weaver, historian and member of the group.