This Friday, March 29, 2019, photo provided by the New Market Fire and Rescue Team shows a fire at the main offices of the Highlander Education and Research Center in New Market, Tenn. The center is a social justice center that trained the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders. Representatives of the center said Tuesday, April 2, 2019, that a white power symbol was also found spray painted on the parking lot near the building.
A Tennessee social justice center that has hosted iconic civil rights leaders was destroyed in a fire and a “white power” symbol was found on the site, the center said and NBC News reported.
The symbol, which officials did not describe but said was connected to the white power movement, was discovered after the main office was completely destroyed in a fire last week, the Highlander Research and Education Center said in a news release Tuesday. It was spray-painted on the parking lot connected to the main office.
Highlander, 30 minutes east of Knoxville, has provided training and organizing efforts for emerging social justice movements in the South since 1932, when Myles Horton founded the Highlander Folk School. Famed civil rights leaders and social activists including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy and Peter Seeger attended training events at the Highlander center.
Highlander’s main office was home to decades’ worth of documents, speeches and memorabilia that were lost in the fire, the center said on Facebook.