Civil Rights

Nashville, Tenn. - Hanging a banner on the former statue of Edward Carmack designating the space "Ida B. Wells Plaza." (Photo: Alex Kent)

Black Caucus rips state’s top two leaders

BY: - August 26, 2020

In a Wednesday press conference, members of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators sharply criticized the state’s top two elected officials’ handling of racial issues. Specifically, caucus members denounced Gov. Bill Lee for ignoring an Aug. 2 caucus letter asking him for an emergency meeting to discuss treatment of protesters at the Tennessee Capitol […]

Gov. Bill Lee gives his bi-weekly media briefing Aug. 18. (Photo: Tn.gov)

Lawmakers begin review of sweeping emergency powers granted to governor

BY: - August 21, 2020

Since the onset of the pandemic in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee has drawn on sweeping emergency powers granted under state law to issue 44 executive orders, including stay-at-home orders, business closures and limits on nursing home visitors. On Thursday, state lawmakers met to consider whether those powers should be reigned in going forward. “Does (the […]

(Photo: iStock/Getty Images)

Supreme Court ruling allows TN voters with certain pre-existing conditions to vote by mail

BY: - August 20, 2020

The state of Tennessee has failed to comply with a Tennessee Supreme Court instruction to educate voters with pre-existing conditions making them vulnerable to COVID-19 of their right to vote by mail for the November election. The charge came in filings with the ongoing legal dispute over absentee voting rights during the deadly pandemic. The […]

Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 18 - Celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. (Photo: Alex Kent)

Historic Hermitage Hotel hosts 19th Amendment celebrations

BY: - August 19, 2020

By the time the 19th Amendment passed on August 18, 1920, efforts for women to gain the right to vote had been in progress for over 70 years. In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention adopted a Declaration of Sentiments, which included a resolution urging women to get the right to vote. After a number of […]

Clockwise from top left: Rep. London Lamar, Councilmember at Large Sharon Hurt, Sen. Brenda Gilmore, Knox County School Board Member Evetty Satterfield, Rupa Blackwell, Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce.

With Harris keynoting DNC, Tennessee’s elected women of color react

BY: - August 19, 2020

The selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as vice-presidential running mate to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden last week has been lauded for its historic nature. Harris is the first woman of color to be named to one of the top positions on a presidential tickets and one of only a few women of any […]

"My voice, my right" protest in Franklin Monday. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Franklin protest of recent legislation draws hostility from Confederate statue supporters

BY: and - August 18, 2020

A protest in Franklin of a controversial bill the legislature passed recently devolved into shoving when counter protesters became agitated over chalk graffiti on the Confederate statue in the town’s square. The “My Voice, My Right” protest was organized by a coalition of groups and individuals including the Franklin Equity and Justice Coalition, Franklin Teens […]

COMMENTARY
A Tennessee state trooper chases a protester holding a sign on 5th Avenue, N. in Nashville, across from the Cordell Hull Office Building. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Commentary: The spirit of Bull Conner is alive and well in Tennessee

BY: - August 18, 2020

If you wonder why many Americans, white as well as Black, distrust law enforcement, you need only visit the Tennessee State Capitol and the Cordell Hull Office Building to get an answer. Over the last couple of years, Tennessee Highway Patrol officers tasked with keeping law and order for the General Assembly, have devolved to […]

Equality March through Pulaski. (Photo: Jaymi Ray)

Pulaski holds weekend Equality March

BY: - August 17, 2020

The sumner’s Black Lives Matter protests and marches calling for an end to police brutality have extended past Tennessee’s large cities to small communities in rural areas. Saturday, Pulaski joined the roster of towns to hold what organizers termed an “Equality March,” an event particularly fitting to some participants: The county seat of Giles County, […]

COMMENTARY
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA - JUNE 16: Organizer Quintavious Rhodes addresses Black Lives Matter protesters during a march in Stone Mountain Park to the Confederate carving etched into the stone side of the mountain on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The march is to protest confederate monuments and recent police shootings. Stone Mountain Park features a Confederate Memorial carving depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Prague Points the Way to Museum of Racist Rebellion

BY: - August 17, 2020

Last summer I was in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and visited the Museum of Communism.  The museum had compelling exhibits on secret police interrogation, censorship, show trials, state propaganda, political labor camps, and the valiant but crushed 1968 uprising known as Prague Spring.  The statues of Lenin and Stalin are by the toilets.  […]

(Photo: iStock/Getty Images)

In-person voting rule challenges Rutherford County voter ill with COVID-19

BY: - August 14, 2020

On July 29, Brittney Whidden received a phone call from the Rutherford County Election Commission. While her husband’s absentee ballot had been approved, hers would not be. Whidden pushed back, and the election commission made an exception. Whidden, who tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering, received her ballot via mail July 31, but reached […]

Franklin's Angel Stansberry leads a crowd to Cordell Hull Office Building for the special legislative session. (Photo: Alex Kent)

Special session bill criminalizes camping on state property and threatens voter rights

BY: - August 13, 2020

The Tennessee General Assembly Wednesday passed a bill that makes camping on state property a felony. House Bill 8005 appears to target Black Lives Matter protesters who have been camping on Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville since mid-June. One portion upgrades the punishment for camping on property not specifically designated for camping from a Class […]

Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson (Photo: Metro Nashville Network)

Nashville Mayor John Cooper: Chief Anderson’s last day is Thursday

BY: - August 6, 2020

Nashville Mayor John Cooper drastically moved up the planned retirement of Police Chief Steve Anderson, announcing Thursday will be Anderson’s last day on the job, following the arrest of a homeless Black man for failing to abide by the city’s mask mandate. Anderson had been with the department for 45 years and served as police […]