Nashville, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri
Posted Mar 27 2006
* Date: Apr 9 2004 * Time: 00:00 pm * Comments: More pics from the road. Nashville, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri to be exact. It was my first time in Nashville, and I must say that I was impressed. I have to admit that outside of certain cities such as Atlanta, I still get caught up in the stereotype that the South is a bit slower than the North, even though I lived down South for several years. At any rate, beyond the blues and country music scene, Nashville has a lot going on socially, including a few salsa clubs. In fact, there’s a sizable Spanish-speaking population. There’s plenty of impressive architecture and people were friendly. I had the opportunity to spend some time on Tennessee State University’s campus and speak with Vanderbilt University’s Director of Intercultural Affairs, Shozo Kawaguchi. Both were enlightening experiences. Outside of the city, I checked out the Belle Meade plantation to get some taste of our country’s not so distant roots in slavery. It’s a bit surreal that a place that once engaged in chattel slavery is now a tourist spot, yet it’s important that this history isn’t forgotten. Getting back to the city itself, Nashville is also home to a life-sized replica of the Greek Parthenon and there was a Masonic presence everywhere. I definitely hope to get back to Nashville soon, and if you happen to pass through yourself, make sure you stop by the Kijiji Café near Fisk University. I also included some pics from Kung Fu Coffee, where I was able to handle some business. In St. Louis, where I’ve lived off and on for the past few years, I returned to do a workshop on Hip Hop in the classroom at The Common Space, “the center of grassroots civics and culture in St. Louis.” Some amazing people turned out, including activists and educators, but it would’ve been nice to see some more hip-hop heads there. Nonetheless, it was a great experience. After that, I went to the Legacy Café’s poetry night and connected with a bunch of folks I’ve known via the internet, but never met in person. Shout outs to Brian Marston, Enoch, Spoken Vizions magazine, Eyeball magazine, and the St. Louis American. Also, keep your eyes and ears open for this new artist out of Birmingham by way of St. Louis named Lotus Bloom. She’s in the Goapele/Mystic vein of things.