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Public Readings

As part of the Quest for Freedom workshop examining the Long Civil Rights movement with a focus on landmarks in Thomasville and the Red Hills region of southern Georgia and northern Florida, the Thomasville History Center has digitized portions of its collections and also drawn on other related published sources.  We want to encourage teachers, scholars, journalists, and the general public to explore the rich history of Thomasville and the resources of the Thomasville History Center along with those of the Jack Hadley Black History Museum. This material is only a small fraction of the holdings of both of these institutions.

In using these documents bear in mind that they reflect sentiments that may be troubling, especially with regard to discrimination and violence. Striving to capture the Black voice is often problematic. For instance, through much of Thomasville’s history there existed no African American newspaper for the period before 1954.  Fortunately, Black newspapers in other parts of Georgia and nationally sometimes carried news regarding Thomasville. We also often have to rely on letters, diaries, and newspaper accounts of white residents, all together these documents underscore the resilience of the African American community from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to the U.S. Supreme Court issuing the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954.

  • G. Kurt Piehler, Editor
  • Livia Ducmetiere-Monod, Stella Contente, Aaron Contente, Editorial Assistants
  • The Quest for Freedom: The African American Community and the Aftermath of Slavery, 1865-1954.
  • Gregory Mixon & G. Kurt Piehler, Co-Directors
  • Anne McCudden, Executive Director, Thomasville History Center, Grants Administrator

We want to express our appreciation to Ephraim Rotter, Archivist at the Thomasville History Center for his assistance.

This documentary reader was funded in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom.

Incendiary Speeches

Encouraging a Race War

What the Newspapers Say of the Negro Soldier in the Spanish American War


First Annual Report

Thomasville Public Schools

Baseball Poster 1940

Brooklyn Cuban Giants vs. Valdosta-Thomasville All Stars

KKK Lecture at Courthouse 1925

High Lights of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

Choir and Quartette Concert

St. Thomas A.M.E Church

9th Annual report

Thomasville Public Schools

A Black Belt County

Rev. W.H. Holloway

Christian Reconstruction in the South

Harlan Paul Douglass

Registered Voters List


Documentary Reader 1


Documentary Reader 2

Sharecropping, Farming, and Making a Living

Documentary Reader 3

Tourism and Hunting Plantations

Documentary Reader 4


Documentary Reader 5

Crime, Violence, and Lynching

Documentary Reader 6

Religion, Education, and Culture

Documentary Reader 7

The Allen Normal and Industrial School

Important Dates

Application Deadline: March 3, 2023

Acceptance/Regrets: April 3, 2023
Accept/Decline Offer: April 14, 2023
Waitlist Accept/Regrets: April 15, 2023

Session I: July 9-14, 2023
Session II: July 23- July 28, 2023


Thomasville History Center
725 N Dawson St,
Thomasville, GA 31792