In Nashville’s civil rights movements past and present, people too young to vote have imagined the just society they want to create. For 16-year-old Alora Young, a rising senior at Hillsboro High School and Nashville’s youth poet laureate, that includes acknowledging the contributions of Black women.
Despite Howard Gentry’s prominent roles, he’s experienced racism that no amount of money or fame could help a black person escape. In this installment of our series Breaking Points, he says the current Black Lives Matter movement reminds him of a movement he witnessed up close decades earlier.
Since June, many Americans are quickly trying to study up on racism and how disparities have lasted for so long. But for one Somali American in Nashville, that education started in his youth, as he grew up in the James Cayce Homes.
Videos of police brutality — and of white residents policing Black people — are traumatic to watch. For Nashville native Asha Evans, those videos, plus her own daily encounters with white colleagues, began chipping away at her mental health.
The high-profile police killings that happened early this summer set off reflection for black men throughout America who identify with the violence. One African American man works with Nashville teens and tries to prepare them for the difficulties they will face as black men. But he admits he’s still struggling to process it all himself.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that get at you — things that nobody else notices but once you do, it becomes hard to ignore. For Ciara and DeShawn Futrell, Sr., their breaking points about racism came long before the police killing of George Floyd captured the nation’s attention.