People's History of Chattanooga: Retelling the story from the bottom up
There is a well-known narrative of Chattanooga history; Civil War battlefields, the "Dynamo of Dixie," "Dirtiest City in the U.S.," the Chattanooga Renaissance. A sanitized picture of progress for a mid-sized Southern city, this tale tends to focus on the political establishment, business leaders, and other movers and shakers while often ignoring the real perspective of marginalized communities, agitators, and working-class folks whose bitter fights for a better city have left an indelible mark. Chattanooga Organized for Action (COA) wants to tell this story; one that highlights the social movements, radical activism, dirty conflicts and everyday heroes that have often remained hidden from cultural awareness. Whether it is the legacy of white supremacy and anti-racist resistance, the rise of unions and industrial struggles, the complex battles for women's liberation, the strengthening of networks in the LGBTQ community, or the mobilization of citizens around numerous and diverse environmental issues, the time is right for a more full and honest portrayal of Chattanooga.
Whether we're working with local artists to develop posters that can be placed around town, hosting talks on key topics, or offering historic walking tours, COA's goal is to change the way our city understands itself.
Check out our video on the development of the first series of posters in partnership with UTC,