Only a half-century ago, the oxymoronic doctrine of "separate but equal" still held sway over public education, dividing schools and students by race. That was struck down on May 17, 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that "separate educational facilities are inherently inequal." To celebrate the landmark ruling, the Nashville Public Library will screen four films this Monday that explore the decision's legacy.
First is the 15-minute WSMV program "With All Deliberate Speed," which documents the history of Nashville school desegregation. It will be followed by the 1963 CBS documentary "The Color Line on Campus," about the status of racial diversity at U.S. colleges in the decision's aftermath, and "Clinton and the Law," a 1957 study of how one East Tennessee high school faced the enforced breaking of racial barriers. Concluding the program is "The Story of Public Education," a PBS history of the public-education issues that led to the Brown ruling.
The entire program begins at 10:45 a.m. in the library's Civil Rights Room and lasts approximately three and a half hours. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 862-5782 or see www.library.nashville.org.
♦ At the same time Nashville civil-rights activists were striking blows against segregation, the city's R&B musicians were making vibrant records that reached a racially mixed audience over stations such as WLAC and WSOK (now WVOL). Their contributions are the focus of the Country Music Hall of Fame's ongoing "Night Train to Nashville" and its excellent accompanying CD. For a slice of living history, catch the city's premier 1960s blues guitarist, Johnny Jones, and the Jefferson Street Bluesmen Monday night when B.B. King's Blues Club hosts a Night Train to Nashville Showcase. With luck, you'll hear Jones dish the kind of fiery licks he used to trade with a skinny Nashville club rat named Jimi Hendrix.
♦ For Nashvillians younger than Johnny Jones' guitar strings, soul satisfaction means one thing: flamboyant DJ Johny Jackson's weekly fiesta of old-school funk and bounce-to-the-ounce grooves. The city's longest-running dance party returns Friday night in pimpadelic splendor to the place it all began 10 years ago: Springwater, where Jackson will preside over 40-ounces and chicken wings until there's neither beer nor bird. On Saturday, Jackson floats the party over to the Cummins Station Bar Car, where he'll be giving away $100 every hour. Arrive early if you want a spot, and remember: like Shaft, it's his duty to please that booty.
♦ Nobody's pleased that the Board Room, the cool Hermitage Avenue dartroom and indie-rock hangout, will likely close its doors next weekend. Co-owner Daniel Brabson says he still might get an offer that would keep the place open, but the cozy beer joint's regulars are preparing for the worst. Go by, wish 'em well, and watch this space next weekend for farewell festivities.
♦ Speaking of farewells, Sunday will be your last chance to see the Frist Center's spectacular "From El Greco to Picasso: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection." Go this weekend and you can also see the museum's new Pre-Raphaelite exhibit, drawn from the holdings of the Tate Collection and featuring works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and Ford Madox Brown. See www.fristcenter.com for more information.
♦ Help Grimey's say goodbye to its Berry Hill location with its Saturday super sale, designed to clear out as much stock as possible before the record store moves to its new location near 8th & Wedgewood (woo hoo!). Rain or shine, there'll be live music from David Mead and The Bees, and all records will be 10 percent off until 2 p.m. Show up to see if Doyle Davis has recovered his jaw from Wednesday's Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings show.