Cultural Encounters

Appealing to community leaders, the health fair model, and rights and benefits counseling in West TN

Sharon Roberson describes the student-led approach to community organizing in West Tennessee, such as appealing to established community leaders (namely, ministers from local churches). She also details the health fair model and rights and benefits counseling, both of which were central to their activist work in the region.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 …

Appealing to community leaders, the health fair model, and rights and benefits counseling in West TN Read More »

Sharon Roberson on Black deference to White people in West Tennessee

Sharon Roberson describes an air conditioning situation in the Haywood County Public Health Services building which, to her surprise, highlighted how Black people, according to custom and engrained mentality, demonstrated deference to the White demographic.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview.

Bob Firestone and John Twiggs arrive in Jacksboro

John McArthur tells the story of his and the board’s decision to hire Bob Firestone and John Twiggs, both from the University of Minnesota, as the Jacksboro Clinic’s first two National Health Service Corps physicians. Despite cultural differences, the community welcomed them and their expansion of the clinic beyond black lung into primary care.   …

Bob Firestone and John Twiggs arrive in Jacksboro Read More »

Art Van Zee on the opioid epidemic in southwestern Virginia

Art Van Zee was among the first physicians in the U.S. to warn people about the dangers of OxyContin and take a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company head on for its marketing blunders. He describes his witness of the problem rapidly develop into a nationwide opioid epidemic by the late 1990s from his work at a …

Art Van Zee on the opioid epidemic in southwestern Virginia Read More »

New River Boys

As illustration of the depth and strength of relationship between the communities and the students, witness the example of the New River Boys. The Boys were a distinguished bluegrass band in the early 1970s. They played in venues around the South, yearning for fame and fortune (and even enjoyed the occasional foray into Nashville–Music City, …

New River Boys Read More »