Town celebrates Black History Month online

Despite current COVID-19 restrictions, the Town of Farragut is presenting a new online program to celebrate Black History Month that hearkens back to its namesake’s historic Naval career.

Located at, the program highlights two Black Naval Medal of Honor winners who served with Admiral David Glasgow Farragut aboard the U.S.S. Hartford during the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay.

The men are Wilson Brown, who was born a slave, and freed man John Lawson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

They were two of eight African-American men who received the Medal of Honor after the Civil War.

Julia Barham, Town historic resources coordinator, had the idea for this year’s program, which obviously had to be quite different from the in-person programs and highlighted posters and story boards that had been key to previous celebrations.

“I am sad to say that with the circumstances this year, we will not be able to carry out the tradition of a Black History Month program with the local community,” Barham said. “This will be the first year in memory that we have not been able to host the community at the museum.

“... We have put together a web page that will allow the community to enjoy different aspects of past Black History Month celebrations, as well as a new focus on Black Union soldiers who served with Admiral Farragut aboard the USS Hartford during the Civil War. Both men ... have fascinating stories that I think people will be very interested to read,” she added.

Oral History, Slideshow

Additionally, an oral history filmed previously, featuring Helen Trent and Hughie Moulder, will run at the Town’s Museum, 11408 Municipal Drive, on a continuous loop during Museum hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays) this month, and is linked to the same Black History Month Web page.

A slide show featuring past Black History Month events also will be shown in the Museum during February, said Wendy Smith, Town public relations and marketing coordinator, who put together the Web page.

“We wanted people to know how important these exhibits, and Black contributions have been to our Town,” she added.

“And, we wanted to continue the tradition somehow ... .”