On a recent Thursday morning, students from two local high schools debated the merits of radical abolitionist John Brown’s violent approach to overthrowing slavery during the 1850s.
They split into two groups on opposite sides of the Great Room in the UT International House and debated whether Brown, who led attacks on pro-slavery residents, was a hero or traitor.
The spirited discussion, moderated by Ernest Freeberg, head of the Department of History, gave the teens a taste of a college-level lecture—and of a UT history class in particular.
The students’ visit was part of the Department of History’s Bridge Program, an outreach initiative that connects UT history faculty with Advanced Placement US history students at Knox County’s Austin-East and Fulton High Schools.
Keep reading at engagement.utk.edu.