USA – Myles Horton

USA – Myles Horton

Myles Horton (1905-1990) was an environmental activist and civil rights activist. Growing up with limited financial resources, he was taught by his parents to value others in his community as well as the power of organizing. He founded the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, that focused on labor organizing civil rights and advocacy for the poor. He was inspired by progressive Danish schools. Despite several attacks against the Highlander Folk School, the institution made strides in labor organizing and civil rights movement work, actively opposing segregation. Horton studied theology, and after that travelled to Europe and scrutinized the folk schools of Denmark which emphasized social engagement over dogmatic, academic styles of learning. Therefore, he founded a school in Tennessee which focused on people sharing and analysing their experiences, using revelations to effect social change and initiate self-growth. The school later became a place for discussing Civil Rights Movement strategies. Highlander became a unique oasis in the legally segregated state, where black and white citizens freely co-mingled. Some of the people who attended and/or taught there was Rosa Parks, Pete Seeger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer.”
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