The Integration of Oak Ridge ~ The Secret City

I almost quit. I didn’t think I could write the article. But it made the front page of the Friday print edition of the Oak Ridger newspaper under the city historian Mr. Ray Smith’s Historically Speaking column.

The battle to write is fierce. I’ve cried my way through writing articles, written under the weight of discouragement and doubt, thought I’d never finish some pieces, and almost didn’t submit others. But several of the hardest pieces to write opened doors, won awards, and people blessed me when they shared my writing ministered to them. —Don’t quit.

We must each obey our call and trust God to enable and use us as He wills. (Remind me of that tomorrow, please.)

Created in 1942, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, also known as the Secret City and the Atomic City, was one of the three major sites set up as part of the U.S. government’s Manhattan Project. The scientists at the laboratory in the Secret City developed the materials to build the atomic bomb that ended WWII. But Oak Ridge has other stories. Twenty years after its inception, Black citizens, many of whom the government had brought in to build the laboratory and city, still lived under the oppressive culture and restrictions of Jim Crow segregation laws. 

This article is the first in a series Mr. Smith invited me to write for his column. (Thank you.) 🙂 The articles and the book I’m writing on the integration of Oak Ridge in the 1960s were first inspired by the stories of my father-in-law and his best friend. They will feature the accounts of many valiant souls with a message for today. 

“Beneath Dr. James Spicer’s charming drawl and calm demeanor lies a steely resolve, a…” Click HERE to read my article in the Oak Ridger newspaper: The Integration of Oak Ridge: A Unique Perspective

Blessed (and terrified) to fill in last minute on PJNET TV Thursday 12/2/21.

NEXT UPCOMING: Mr. Ray Smith, the Oak Ridge city historian, is also a Vietnam veteran, a police chaplain emeritus, a skilled storyteller, author, and more. I had the honor of interviewing him and look forward to sharing his amazing stories, wisdom, and work with you next week on my blog. 

Click here to read my article in the Oak Ridger newspaper: The Integration of Oak Ridge: A Unique Perspective

Thank you to my fellow writers and readers for your prayers and encouragement. You are invaluable. I cannot do this on my strength. Humbled, honored, blessed, to serve as one of God’s scribes.

Some suggestions for Christmas gifts for book lovers:

NEW RELEASE: MORE Than Your Mountains Hardcover

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Historically Speaking Series of Books by Oak Ridge Historian Ray Smith – Annual volumes of historical articles published in The Oak Ridger newspaper

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Click HERE to read my testimony: A Mail Carrier’s Mistake Saved Her from Suicide on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

Click here to read my article in the Oak Ridger newspaper: The Integration of Oak Ridge: A Unique Perspective

© 2021 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On your Heart

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaithChat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, in the compilation books Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry, The Courage to Write: 62 devotions to Encourage your Writing Journey, and Defining Moments: Memorable and Inspiring Stories from Outstanding Leaders, and the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate and a whole lot of "Help me, Jesus." Her WIPS include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website,—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

4 thoughts on “The Integration of Oak Ridge ~ The Secret City”

  1. This is beautiful and convicting. God bless you for writing it! And the OakRidger for publishing it. Just beautiful. God bless Tennessee! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Rebekah. Blessed it blessed you and honored at the opportunity to have my work published under historian Mr. Ray Smith’s Historically Speaking column in the Oak Ridger newspaper.

      Don’t miss my next post featuring an inspiring, and informative interview with the multifaceted Mr. Smith. I’ll be pointing readers to his great resources for educators.


  2. You should never quit unless it is because of your principles. This kind of truth needs to have a voice in today’s world. Thanks for pushing through your walls and giving us the insight to what you have researched so thoroughly!


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