Nashville, Tenn., May 30 – A protestor sets fire to Historic Metro Nashville Courthouse while bystanders ignore him. (Photo: John Partipilo)
No matter how well-crafted a written story, superb art work always makes the story better and in 2020, there have been no shortage of opportunities for our talented crew of photojournalists to show off their professional chops.
Less than a month after the Tennessee Lookout launched in May, John Partipilo attended the May 30 “I Will Breath” rally to honor George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police the week before. Partipilo stuck around through the peaceful demonstration and into the night, when an entirely different group of people moved into Downtown Nashville. The latter group vandalized stores and set fire to Historic Metro Nashville Courthouse. He caught several iconic photos of the day and night, notably, one of a vandal torching the courthouse that helped lead to the man’s arrest.
Partipilo also shot a series called “The New Normal” in July capturing scenes in restaurants, coffee houses, museums and in Nashville’s tourist district, after they reopened following the spring shut down for COVID-19 precautions.
If there was a Nashville protest, rally or major event, photographer Alex Kent was there, shooting everything from Tennessee Highway Patrol officers with zip ties at the ready for arresting Black Lives Matter protestors to festive celebrants of the 100 year anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. And we began our professional relationship with Ray Di Pietro when we saw his black and white photo of a white state trooper in full flight after a young black protester, a photo so gritty it could just as well have come from the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
From Memphis, photojournalist Karen Pulfer Focht has provided richly colored images of the Bluff City and West Tennessee, starting with her July shot of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music’s tribute to the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.
Tomorrow, we’ll have our gallery of photography for September-December.
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