Myles Horton

by Jeremy Pham

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Myles Horton Job Title

Born - July 19, 1905

Death - January 1990 (Age 84)

Environmental Activist and Civil Rights Activist

Family Life and Background

Myles Horton was born in Savannah. Tennessee into a poor family with two brothers and a sister. Being white, his family was fairly treated back then. His parents were former school teachers until the requirements for the job changed, causing them to lose their jobs. Horton went to high school at age 15 while working in a sawmill and box factory.

Influencing Event leading to founding Highlander Folk School

Even though the Horton family was poor, they never thought themselves of lower class. Myles Horton helped the less fortunate. One example is when in supported the poor people in the mountains. He started to show the first signs of activism when he went on strike for higher wages at a tomato factory. He was also influenced by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who studied the belief of religion.
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Myles Horton becomes a leader.

Myles Horton built the Highlander Folk School (now the Highlander Research and Education Center) in 1932. The school was special as it was one of the only school that brought white and blacks together at the time. However, this broke the laws of segregation and in 1961, the school was shut down after this and claims of selling alcohol. However, the school applied for a charter and reopened. The school focused teaching on heightening activism. The reason this school was important is because it created many events. The most recognizable is when Rosa Parks didn't give up her bus seat. Before that, Rosa Parks visited the Highlander Folk School where she felt that no one was alone.
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"Nothing will change until we change - until we throw off our dependence and act for ourselves." - Myles Horton

Interesting Facts

-Wrote an autobiography called "The Long Haul"

-His school influenced many leaders, including Martin Luther King

- Highlander Folk School is now "Highlander Research and Education Center."

- The school now focuses on social consequences related to environmental problems.

-Nicknamed "The Father of the Civil Rights Movement"

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