Chattanooga black leaders decry moving Strut

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Black community leaders in Chattanooga say the city's plan to move the Bessie Smith Strut is frustrating.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that some African-American leaders said Thursday the decision was made without their input and is a sign that blacks are not really welcome in the city.

Mayor Ron Littlefield said at a Thursday morning news conference that the Strut would be moved from Martin Luther King Boulevard to the city's riverfront and would be renamed the Bessie Smith Celebration.

The event, scheduled for June 10, honors American blues singer Bessie Smith, who was born in Chattanooga.

City Council members Russell Gilbert and Peter Murphy, who represent city minority districts, said in a joint statement they were shocked by Littlefield's announcement.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 145193315 -
Gray Television, Inc.