The Macon County Courthouse in Tuskegee was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1987
Thou Pride of the Swift Growing South
Location of Tuskegee in Macon County, Alabama.
|• Mayor||Lawrence F. Haygood, Jr.|
|• Total||16.37 sq mi (42.40 km2)|
|• Land||16.11 sq mi (41.73 km2)|
|• Water||0.26 sq mi (0.68 km2)|
|Elevation||463 ft (141 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||505.37/sq mi (195.12/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
36083, 36087, 36088
|GNIS feature ID||0128211|
Tuskegee (//) is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.
Tuskegee has been important in African-American history and highly influential in United States history since the 19th century. Before the American Civil War, the area was largely used as a cotton plantation, dependent on African-American slave labor. After the war, many freedmen continued to work on plantations in the rural area, which was devoted to agriculture. In 1881 the Tuskegee Normal School (now Tuskegee University, a historically black college) was founded by Lewis Adams, a former slave whose father, Jesse Adams, a slave owner, allowed him to be educated. Its first founding principal was Booker T. Washington, who developed a national reputation and philanthropic network to support education of freedmen and their children.
In 1923, the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was established, initially for the estimated 300,000 African-American veterans of World War I in the South, when public facilities were racially segregated. Twenty-seven buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus.
The city was the subject of a civil rights case, Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960), in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature had violated the Fifteenth Amendment in 1957 by gerrymandering city boundaries as a 28-sided figure that excluded nearly all black voters and residents, and none of the white voters or residents. The city's boundaries were restored in 1961 after the ruling.
The area was settled by whites in the 1830s after the Creek Native American tribes had been removed to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Pioneer planters brought or purchased African-American slaves to develop the rich soil for cotton plantations, as short-staple cotton was the chief commodity crop through the 19th century. Invention of the cotton gin at the end of the 18th century meant that this type of cotton could be processed profitably and it was adaptable to the upland areas. Designated as the county seat of rural Macon County, Tuskegee developed as its only city.
In 1881, the young Booker T. Washington was hired to develop the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers on the grounds of a former plantation. It was founded to train teachers for the segregated school system and freedmen for self-sufficiency. Washington established a work-study program by which students practiced skills and trades. Over the decades, the programs were expanded. This was later named the Tuskegee Institute. Graduate courses were added and it became Tuskegee University. Washington was known for his emphasis on education and self-improvement. The institute became known for stressing a practical education with work experience by students, to prepare them for the work available in the small towns and rural areas to which most would return. Teaching was a highly respected calling, as education was a major goal among the freedmen and their children. Washington believed that African Americans would achieve acceptance by southern whites when they had raised themselves.
Washington led the school for decades, building a wide national network of white industrialist donors among some of the major philanthropists of the era, including George Eastman. At the same time, Washington secretly provided funding to the NAACP for its legal defense of some highly visible civil rights cases, including supporting challenges to southern states' discriminatory constitutions and practices that disenfranchised African Americans. Through the 1920s and 1930s, Washington worked with Julius Rosenwald and architects at the college to develop models for rural schools, to be used with Rosenwald's matching funds to gain construction of more rural schools for black children in the South.
Beginning in 1932, the school was the site of the now-infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study (1932–1972), started to test treatments of the disease. 600 African-American men became involved, being offered free medical care by the U.S. government for their participation, while being unwittingly tested for syphilis. With funding cut by the Great Depression, staff cut back on medication to treat the disease and studied the effects of untreated syphilis on patients and their partners. Those in the study who had syphilis were not told, nor were they informed that treatment was available for their disease, even after antibiotics had been developed.
One of the most famous teachers at Tuskegee was George Washington Carver, whose name is synonymous with innovative research into Southern farming methods and the development of hundreds of commercial products derived from regional crops, including peanuts and sweet potatoes.
During World War II, Tuskegee and Tuskegee Institute were also home to the famed Tuskegee Airmen. This was the first squadron of African-American pilots trained in the U.S. Military for service in that war.
The university in the 21st century is a center of excellence for African-American education. The heart of the university has been designated as a National Historic District and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was opened in 1923, authorized by Congress. A total of 27 buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus, which provided housing and a hospital to serve the needs of more than 300,000 African-American veterans in the South from World War I. It attracted doctors from top schools, such as Dr. Toussaint Tourgee Tildon, a graduate of Harvard Medical School. He was one of the first six African-American doctors to work at the hospital; as director of the complex for 12 years (1946–1958), he achieved accreditation for a medical residency program at the hospital. He also worked to ensure accessibility for graduates to good medical positions in the federal government.
In the 1930s, a group of black men from the Tuskegee Men's Club began efforts to get more black voters registered. Beginning in 1941, the group reorganized under the name the Tuskegee Civic Association (TCA). With the group's consistent effort to register more voters, the area's statistics about registered black voters continued to increase. The group and potential voters were often met with obstacles that prevented them from being successful. The surrounding black community showed support and wanted to recognize black leaders in the community. The work of the TCA also had a huge emphasis on educating their communities on various civic duties. Though the existing support for the TCA was not often vocalized, many black community members wanted to challenge the political system that was present in Macon County. The group shed a light on the disparities in the numbers of black people applying for voter registration and those who were successful, even going as far as talking to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. 
Voting rights challenge
Following passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, activists had made progress in registering black voters in the city. African Americans in Tuskegee and other Alabama cities had been largely disenfranchised after passage of a new state constitution in 1901, which included requirements that were discriminatory in practice, including a poll tax and literacy tests.
In 1957, a total of 1000 voters were registered, with the 400 registered black voters nearly equalling the number of white voters. But in the city, African Americans outnumbered whites on a four-to-one basis; among them were many highly-educated, professional African Americans working at the Tuskegee Institute and the Veterans Administration hospital. That year, without debate and against the protests of many African Americans, the state legislature redrew the boundaries of the city, enacting Local Law 140, which created an irregular, 28-sided city boundary that left only ten black voters within the newly-defined city and excluded 420 black voters. Those excluded included the entire professional staff of the Institute and the hospital. No white voters were excluded by the change.
The law was intended to guarantee that minority whites could retain control of the city even if more blacks succeeded in the arduous process of registering to vote. Some 3,000 African-American residents protested passage of the law at a church in Tuskegee; they also began an economic boycott of white businesses in the city. The boycott was referred to as a "selective buying campaign" due to the fact that boycotting was illegal under state law. It lasted about four years, during which twenty-six businesses operated by white proprietors closed down.
African Americans also organized a legal challenge to the law, supported by the NAACP, in a case known as Gomillion v. Lightfoot. The law was initially upheld by the US District Court and affirmed by the Appeals Court based in New Orleans. However, it was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 1960, with the ruling implemented in 1961. The court ruled that the gerrymandering of city boundaries was racially motivated and violated the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which states that "states were not insulated from federal judicial review when they jeopardized federally protected rights." The exclusionary gerrymandering was overturned and the previous boundaries of the city were restored.
This case was cited in the later Baker v. Carr (1964), in which the Supreme Court ruled that Tennessee's malapportionment of election districts violated civil rights. It ruled that representation in both houses of all state legislatures had to be based on population, under the "one man, one vote" doctrine, and that such districts had to be regularly updated to reflect population changes.
After the civil rights movement
In 1963, Tuskegee was to be the first Alabama community to comply with a federal order to desegregate its public schools. The schools superintendent, C.A. (Hardboy) Pruitt at first opposed the admission of Black students, but worked with other community leaders to comply with the final order of the federal district court, with plans to admit 13 Black students in September 1963 to what had been an all-white high school. But Gov. George Wallace opposed compliance with the federal order anywhere in the state on the grounds that it would lead to violence. Behind the scenes, Wallace enlisted the aid of Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis of the National States' Rights Party to gin up protests calling for the closing of schools that were scheduled to integrate. Wallace subsequently ordered public schools closed across the state and deployed state troopers on Sept. 3, 1963, to block the opening of Tuskegee High School. The school was integrated on Sept. 10, 1963, after President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and 13 Black students were among only 165 students to begin the school year, against a total enrollment of about 550.
In the 21st century, Tuskegee has a council–manager government led by a four-member city council, a mayor, and an appointed city manager.
The city council acts as a legislative body of the city, passing laws and regulations and appointing citizens to the city's various boards. Each member of the city council is elected for a four-year term from one of three geographic single-member districts. Tuskegee has one city council member who is elected at-large to a four-year term and serves as mayor-pro tem. The duties of the mayor are to promote the city, communicate with residents, and preside over City Council meetings. As such, the position of mayor in Tuskegee is primarily ceremonial.
Tuskegee is located at (32.431506, −85.706781).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.7 square miles (41 km2), of which 15.5 square miles (40 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.53%) is water.
Parts of this article (those related to this section) need to be updated.(February 2010)
Downtown Tuskegee includes aspects of history in Tuskegee/Macon County from the time of incorporation to the present. It also has a site serving as the Tuskegee Visitor Center and is home to the Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center.
Tuskegee area attractions include:
- Tuskegee University and the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site (including the Oaks, Grey Columns, and George Washington Carver Museum) 
- Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site @ Historic Moton Field 
- Main Street Historic District and North Main Street Historic District
- The Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center
- Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, site of protests against 1957 state gerrymandering of the city
- Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center
- The Tuskegee Repertory Theatre/Jessie Clinton Arts Center 
- Tuskegee City Lake
- Tuskegee National Forest·· 
- Kirks Old Farm Museum
The table at right shows the effects of the state passing a law in 1957 to redefine the city of Tuskegee in a way that excluded nearly all black residents, dramatically reducing the population by 1960. The city and other officials were sued under Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960); the US Supreme Court ruled against the state's action. The city boundaries were reinstituted, as reflected by the dramatic "increase" of population in the city recorded in 1970. The population in 1960, with the restored borders, was 7,240, according to the 1970 U.S. Census. Because of lack of economic opportunities in the largely rural area, both the city and rural county have lost population since the late 20th century.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,846 people, 4,169 households, and 2,326 families residing in the city. The population density was 765.7 people per square mile (295.7/km2). There were 5,101 housing units at an average density of 329.7 per square mile (127.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.48% Black or African American, 2.59% White, 0.19% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 0.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,169 households, out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 22.6% were married couples living together, 29.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.2% were non-families. 37.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.6% under the age of 18, 25.4% from 18 to 24, 19.9% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $18,889, and the median income for a family was $26,862. Males had a median income of $23,333 versus $22,951 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,340. About 30.0% of families and 35.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.1% of those under age 18 and 26.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,865 people, 3,749 households, and 1,956 families residing in the city. The population density was 636.5 people per square mile (246.0/km2). There were 4,624 housing units at an average density of 298.3 per square mile (115.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.8% Black or African American, 1.9% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 1.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,749 households, out of which 21.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 19.0% were married couples living together, 28.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.8% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 18.5% under the age of 18, 27.8% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,251, and the median income for a family was $43,472. Males had a median income of $40,653 versus $26,631 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,471. About 22.2% of families and 31.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.0% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.
A short distance beyond I-85 is the hamlet of Chehaw, where Southern Railway passenger trains made stops at the Western Railway of Alabama Depot. Into the mid-1960s both the Southern's Crescent and its Piedmont Limited made stops at the depot. The railway's Crescent was the last train to make stops at the station. The Southern Railway moved the train out in 1970 for a rerouting from an Atlanta-Montgomery-New Orleans itinerary to an Atlanta-Birmingham-New Orleans itinerary.
- Ajiona Alexus was born here; actress.
- Sadie Peterson Delaney was the chief librarian of the Veterans Administration Hospital.
- Rosa Louise Parks was born here; she became a civil rights activist in the 1950s in Montgomery, Alabama, contributing to the more than year-long Montgomery bus boycott that achieved desegregation of the city system.
- Lionel Richie was born here; rhythm & blues singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and occasional actor.
- Sammy Younge Jr. was born in Tuskegee; he was a civil rights activist.
Tuskegee Post Office (ZIP code:36083)
A view of the Macon County Courthouse from the park in the town square. The Main Street Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 12, 1984.
The North Main Street Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1985.
The Butler Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 28, 1995.
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- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- See "Pronunciation of Tuskegee." thefreedictionary.com.. Retrieved: October 3, 2010.
- Sarah Lawless, Auburn University (June 25, 1957). "Tuskegee". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center Celebrates - 85 Years of Service", press release, Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS), 2008
- Allen Mendenhall, "Gomillion v. Lightfoot", Encyclopedia of Alabama, May 2, 2011
- "Tuskegee | Origin and history of Tuskegee by Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "The Booker T. Washington Era (Part 1)", African American Odyssey, Library of Congress, March 21, 2008, retrieved September 3, 2008
- Richard B. Sobol, "Reviewed Work: Gomillion versus Lightfoot: The Tuskegee Gerrymander Case by Bernard Taper", Columbia Law Review Vol. 62, No. 4 (Apr. 1962), pp. 748–751 (subscription required)
- Richard H. Pildes, Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon, Constitutional Commentary, vol.17, 2000, pp.13–14 Accessed March 10, 2008
- Duff-Brown, Beth (January 6, 2017). "The shameful legacy of Tuskegee syphilis study still impacts African-American men today". Stanford Health Policy. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Elizabeth D. Schafer. "Tildon, Toussaint Tourgee", American National Biography Online, February 2003, published by Oxford University Press, Inc., copyright 2000 American Council of Learned Societies
- Ture, Kwame; Hamilton, Charles (1966). Black Power.
- Hamilton, Charles (1992). Black Power: The Politics of Liberation. New York: Vintage: Random House. p. 133. ISBN 9780679743132.
- Richard B. Sobol, "Reviewed Work: Gomillion versus Lightfoot: The Tuskegee Gerrymander Case by Bernard Taper", Columbia Law Review, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Apr. 1962), pp. 748–751, Published by: Columbia Law Review Association, Inc., accessed January 17, 2015 (subscription required)
- Carter, Dan T. (1995). The politics of rage : George Wallace, the origins of the new conservatism, and the transformation of American politics. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 162–167. ISBN 0-684-80916-8. OCLC 32739924.
- Sitton, Claude (September 3, 1963). "Alabama Police Prevent Opening of Tuskegee High". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
- Sitton, Claude (September 11, 1963). "Wallace Ends Resistance as Guard Is Federalized; More Schools Integrate". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- We Shall Overcome – Butler Chapel AME Zion Church. Cr.nps.gov (June 25, 1957). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System East Campus – Locations. .va.gov. Retrieved on July 12, 2013.
- "00496492v1p2.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
- "The Tuskegee News". Thetuskegeenews.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "Western Railway of Alabama, Table 1". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 98 (2). July 1965.
- "Western Railway of Alabama, Table 1". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 101 (1). June 1968.