Nashville is full of history that we grew up hearing, but there is still a ton that we don’t know. Nashville is home to some huge moments in African American culture, and we should celebrate all the victories , both known and unknown.
Jefferson Street Sound Museum
Jefferson Street Sound Museum is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the classic sound of Jefferson Street. The museum partners with local Nashville public schools to nourish the musically gifted and immerse lovers of music in Nashville’s rich history throughout the city. Lorenzo Washington, Founder and Curator of JSSM, cites his passion for family, community, and preserving “Back In The Day” music for the strides made by the museum and its impact on the Nashville community.
Meharry Medical College & Hubbard House
Meharry Medical College was the first to offer admission to African Americans in the South. The college began as an extension of Central Tennessee College with Dr. George Whipple Hubbard as the first president and dean of the institution. Hubbard worked diligently to establish dentistry and pharmacy disciples at Meharry Medical College. Hubbard also worked to ensure hospital privileges for students seeing that the college did not have access to a hospital at the time. Hubbard had a home built on the Meharry Medical College campus where he would go to retire. The house is the last remnants of the original campus.
Greenwood Park is the first urban recreational park created for African Americans in 1905 by Preston Taylor. Preston Taylor, one of the founders of Union Transportation Co., would take black people on his streetcar line to the park. The park included a ball field, swimming pools, skating rink, and more amenities. Greenwood Park remained open for 40 years before closing and is survived today by Greenwood Cemetery.
The Witness Walls are large pieces of art on concrete created by Walter Hood and other fellow activists. The walls are meant to capture moments during the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville. The installations include snapshots of school desegregation, sit-ins, Freedom rides and more. The Witness Walls sit beside Davidson County Courthouse and give locals and newcomers a view into the true history of Nashville.