Nashville civil rights pioneer shares story with new generation - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville civil rights pioneer shares story with new generation

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

One of Nashville's youngest civil rights activists shared her story Wednesday at a luncheon in Donelson.

Joy Smith helped begin the desegregation of Nashville's schools when she and three other first graders were the first African-American students to attend Emma Clemmons School on 12th Avenue South in 1957.

Smith said she learned a valuable lesson from that time that still holds true today.

"Everybody wants a friend. Everyone wants to go and play at some point. It doesn't matter what color you are," she said.

Smith, the daughter of the Rev. Kelly Miller Smith, pastor at First Baptist Capitol Hill, also got to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when she was just 11 years old.

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