George Clem School alumni honored on MLK day


GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – It was a step back in time this Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Hal Henard Elementary school for Greeneville High School’s basketball games.

The George Clem school was the African American public high school from 1932 to 1965. When segregation ended, the school became the central office for Greeneville City Schools. On Monday night, alumni and people in Greene County were able to celebrate the history of the school.

The school now serves as Greeneville City Schools’ Head Start and Alternative Learning Centers as well as the Information Technology Center.

The George Clem School (WJHL)

“Segregation is tough to talk about and as students grow and learn its a conversation that doesn’t really get covered a lot,” said Greeneville Alderman Jeff Taylor, who organized the event.

At the event, alumni were able to reconnect, people were able to look at memorabilia and learn about the history of the school.

“Life is not for our kids now the way it was coming along and this is our way to keep them in touch with history,” said George Clem Graduate of 1964 Gypsy Montgomery.

Monday night Greeneville High School’s basketball teams faced the teams from Daniel Boone wearing a different uniform.

Instead, the basketball teams and cheerleaders wore replica throwback uniforms of the George Clem Wolverines.

“It is one of those situations where the alumni are diminishing and you’ve gotta keep that history alive,” Taylor added.

All on the day honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose fight led to equality in Greeneville and around the country.

“It makes us feel great to know that we feel like we are part of them and they are part of us,” said George Clem 1958 graduate Don Hamilton. “We think it’s just a good thing to remember him for what he stood for and what he did and what he believed in to have this event on this particular day.”

There will be an Emancipation Day Celebration on Aug. 8 on the grounds of the George Clem School.

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