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A history professor in Memphis Tennessee discovers that the parking lot of the church he attends used to be a slave yard belonging to a general in the Confederate army.
Rhodes College professor, Dr. Huebner’s research reveals that there used to be a slave yard in the parking lot of the church he attends, situated in the middle of downtown Memphis. Not just any slave yard, but one belonging to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a famed general in the Confederate army.
What irks Dr. Huebner is the existing marker on the edge of the property doesn’t mention the fact that humans had been sold there by one of the South’s favorite sons for immense profit and personal gain.
“The Yard” is a story of courage to face the truth. A will for change. And the need to openly discuss a dark past to move on to a brighter future.
Supported by contemporaries and Memphis historians, Dr. Huebner physically rectifies the past when he erects a marker that states the facts about the site on April 4th, 2018 (the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination).
Dr. Huebner also pays tribute to 40 known slaves sold at “The Yard” over a century and a half ago.
Dr. Timothy S. Huebner
Timothy S. Huebner is the Sternberg Professor of History at Rhodes College. A specialist in the history of the nineteenth-century United States, he is the author of Liberty and Union: The Civil War Era and American Constitutionalism (2016), The Taney Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy (2003), and The Southern Judicial Tradition: State Judges and Sectional Distinctiveness, 1790-1890 (1999). He is co-editor (with the late Kermit L. Hall) of Major Problems in American Constitutional History, second edition (2010). In addition, he has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, and his essays, reviews, and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Nashville Tennessean, the Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch website, The Weekly Standard, SCOTUSBlog, and the New York Times.
Prof. Huebner serves as co-editor (with Paul Finkelman) of Southern Legal Studies, a book series published by the University of Georgia Press, and since 2010 he has served (under editor Melvin Urofsky) as associate editor of the Journal of Supreme Court History, published three times a year by the Supreme Court Historical Society.
A member of the faculty at Rhodes College since 1995, Prof. Huebner teaches courses on the History of the American South, U.S. Constitutional History, and the Civil War and Reconstruction era. He founded and directed the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, a nationally acclaimed interdisciplinary undergraduate research program, and later served as chair of the Department of History for six years. In 2004, Prof. Huebner received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, given annually to a member of the Rhodes faculty. That same year, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named him the Tennessee Professor of the Year.
A native of Orlando, Prof. Huebner received his B.A. from the University of Miami (Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He lives in Memphis with his wife Kristin and their two children.
Director – John Reyer Afamasaga
I’m an auditory learner so listening and telling stories is the most natural and enjoyable thing to me.
As a Kiwi-Samoan living in Mississippi, I am blessed with a perspective that’s genuinely unique. I was born to immigrants in New Zealand. My parents migrated from Western Samoa in the late ’50s.
When I moved to the US in 2016, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The South is full of great people, and a place rich with history—stories waiting to be told.
My first language was Samoan. My parents knew I would learn English by default. So, I listen in Samoan, think in English, and communicate in a hybrid pigeon mashup of my experiences. My view of a subject is often a softer meeker version when everyone else’s is a harsher take. That’s not to say I don’t tell the truth; I prefer selling an idea rather than jamming stuff down someone’s throat.