Some of these pioneers John Russaw, the first African American football player at East Tennessee State University, whose story is also featured in the upcoming play, The Long Trip Home.Russaw is a graduate of Langston High School and ETSU where he earned a degree in education. He attributes his success from being prepared by teachers at Langston.
J.C. Cousins, an African-American businessman who ran for office in Jonesborough, Tennessee, just a few years after the end of the Civil War. He lost the election, but began a political trajectory that would take 80 years to fulfill, when Ernest McKinney became the first African-American elected as an Alderman in 1968. McKinney’s son, Kevin McKinney, went on to become the town’s first African-American mayor.
The McKinney Center also shares more of their monthly Alumni stories and mysteries, offering audience members a chance to identify students in historic photos.
Two special guests will join the cast this month. Renowned poet, Langley Shazor, will perform several of his pieces at this month’s production. Musical guests “We Four” from Bethel Church will bring their dynamic vocal performances to the stage, singing several Gospel numbers.
Tickets for this performance, held at the International Storytelling Center on Monday, February 25 at 7 p.m. are only $5. They are available by calling 423-753-1010 or online at Jonesborough.com/tickets. The Yarn Exchange Radio Show is a StoryTown production, sponsored in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission and Ballad Health.