Nashville residents celebrate Juneteenth by repainting the BLM mural on Woodland St.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) – While the concept of Juneteenth has been around for decades, how to celebrate it nationally is still being worked out. That’s why, besides the information booths, speakers, and music, the Tennessee Alliance for Progress couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate emancipation than with a little artistic participation.
“Making rainbow swirls for the LGBTQIA community,” explained Meg Pollard, an artist using spray paint. “I do a lot of vortices, they help me calm down and process everything and slow down, you know?”
Artists and volunteers helped repaint the Black Lives Matter mural on Woodland Street, which was originally painted in October 2020 and stretches longer than a football field. Just a few days after the original paint was completed, several cars tried their best to smudge the paint by pressing the brakes on the mural.
“I’m honestly not surprised but I’m really upset that this has happened,” Pollard said.
The purpose of this event was to bring those words back to life. “I feel like it’s really important that young kids have something like that to watch and that the city can show that kind of performance, you know, because we don’t have a lot of things like that. here, ”Pollard said.
TSU student Monica Hardy says Nashville needs to make sure this isn’t all lip service. “Defining a vacation is good, but I think we want more too. So I think it’s a first step and maybe more steps will be taken because I feel like we will be heard more and looked at as more human, ”said Hardy.
That’s why these volunteers, long after they get home, promise to plan to make sure the mural and the vacation stay true to the message. “A lot of people think we’re just a race. But we’re more than a race, it’s a culture,” said Hardy. “So we’re trying to get diversity in Nashville and expand Nashville”
There were also celebrations from Juneteenth in Nashville to Fifth + Broadway and Saturday night in Fort Negley.
June 19, 1865, the day the last slaves learned of their freedom in Galveston, Texas. For years it was just celebrated as a regional holiday, but has grown in popularity in recent years. President Joe Biden signed a law making Juneteenth the most recent national holiday earlier this week.