On the day after nine people have been senselessly slaughtered for no other reason than the color of their skin, it’s difficult to write about my enthusiasm for being in Nashville, Music City. A couple of days ago I wrote about our visit to the Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC, and implied the South still had a way to go; little did I know how prescient my words would be.
This particular southern city—Nashville—has churches of one denomination or another on just about every corner. It also thrives on its reputation as the home of ‘Country Music,’ a genre that has its roots not only in British folk songs but in gospel singing and other melodies of slaves. While I have absolutely no intention of tarring every southerner with one brush, it’s difficult to reconcile the continued bigotry and denigration of African Americans by some individuals with the palpable Christianity and love of this music genre.
Put it into practice, folks. It’s now or never.
Elvis Presley’s gold Steinway at Country Music Hall of Fame
Dolly Parton’s Manuscript of her song, ‘Jolene’
Wall of Gold Records at Country Music Hall of Fame
There’s a certain irony that Charlotte hit 99 degrees today. When Cristal and I were planning our trip, we originally included GA, LA, FL and TX, but decided against them as being too hot in June. Such is life.
The heat hasn’t stopped us, however, from enjoying our day. We chose Charlotte as a stop on the way to Nashville because my ol’ college buddy, Laurie Graybeal, and her husband, John Gresham, live here. Laurie and I see each other sporadically, although this year has been a bonus year with a catch-up in NYC as well as this visit. So, there is at least one benefit to having your friends spread around the USA.
Earlier in the day, Cristal and I visited the Levine Museum of the New South, a wonderful venue covering how Charlotte and the South have changed since the 1800s, from cotton to skyscrapers as they displayed. Of course, as far as civil rights are concerned, they’ve come a long way…but still have a way to go.
As do we, as do we…