LaFrederick M. Thirkill
Educator, Playwright, Actor, Musician
A distinguished local educator, playwright, actor, and musician, LaFrederick M.Thirkill serves an assistant principal at Apison Elementary School. He founded "Friends of Pleasant Garden" to maintain Chattanooga's historic African American cemetery, founded and served as the first chair of the Elementary Music Teachers Group, established the annual "Poetry on Oak" literacy performance program, and has performed in many local theatre productions. He wrote, directed, and produced Dead Innocent, The Ed Johnson Story, which tells the story of the arrest, conviction, and 1906 lynching of an innocent black man in Chattanooga, and established "The Ed Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund" for college students majoring in criminal justice. He will be featured in the March 4 episode of the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are?" with Lionel Richie, whose great-grandfather is buried in Pleasant Garden.