Named after the Black neighborhoods and business centers
in East Knoxville that were demolished in the 1950s by
urban renewal and institutionalized racism, The Bottom
now stands as a place to reclaim community.
Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist studying race and
place and Black communities, was inspired to build
The Bottom after her research on Black Knoxville revealed
resounding feelings of displacement and loss of space as dominant themes for participants.
For several years Enkeshi was the only Black woman in her department at The University of Tennessee Knoxville, she desired to establish real bridges between the campus and community.
With the belief that Blackness is neither essentialist nor static, but relational, dynamic and changeable, The Bottom stands as a multi-use place to foster change and provide comfort. The Bottom is a hub to get plugged into the local black community, whether you're local or new to town.
We're building community, celebrating culture, & engaging the creativity of black people through curated events, ongoing projects, shared resources and physical space. Our work is grounded in place based socio-historic explorations of black life in Knoxville.
The Bottom is a place to feel welcomed, to feel encouraged and to feel seen. A place to inspire Black creatives and amplify black voices. The Bottom is a Black place.
Located at 202 Randolph St, The Bottom is currently home to The Community Podcast Studio, Bookshop at The Bottom & a workshop for our Sew It Sell It youth program.
We're currently building out our membership-based programs, and pending the Covid-19 situation, we will offer many ways for the public to utilize our space!