Black Lives Matter

Several hundred people gathered at East Tennessee State University to show support for basketball players who took a knee during the National Anthem at a February game and subsequent resignation of Coach Jason Shay. (Photo: Kate Craig)

ETSU kneeling controversy the latest in series of racially-tinged incidents at school

BY: - April 7, 2021

In northeast Tennessee, a controversy over the decision by college basketball players to take a knee during the National Anthem continues to reverberate across the campus and community, with the looming possibility state lawmakers will act to punish any future protests by student-athletes at public campuses across the state. On February 15, players and coaches […]


Commentary: Am I included in the Movement?

BY: - March 31, 2021

I’ve never quite known if I fit in or have a place in the women’s movement. As a masculine presenting gay woman, there are quite a few spaces where I don’t always feel safe or welcome. And yes, sometimes that includes within the Democratic Party as well as within the women’s movement.  For the record, […]

Tennesseans on the move: who to keep an eye on in 2021

BY: - December 30, 2020

A year like 2020, replete with drama in politics, health care, education and civil rights, gives public leaders the chance to shine or flop. With the year near to passing in our collective rear view mirrors, the staff of the Tennessee Lookout brings your attention to a handful of Tennesseans in politics, education, health care […]

The year in photos: September-December

BY: - December 30, 2020

Politics and pandemic consumed our photojournalists for the latter portion of the year. When President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, Memphis photojournalist Karen Pulfer Focht went to Barrett’s alma mater, Rhodes College, to get images from Justice Barrett’s college years. Focht also got what may will be one of […]

Nashville, Tenn., May 30 - A protestor sets fire to Historic Metro Nashville Courthouse while bystanders ignore him. (Photo: John Partipilo)

The year in photos: May-August 2020

BY: - December 29, 2020

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 […]

Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 7 - "Stop the Steal" event. (Photo: Alex Kent)

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

BY: - November 9, 2020

A truism of politics is that there’s always a winner and always a loser. In the case of the 2020 presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden has emerged as president-elect, after clinching Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes Saturday morning. Sitting President Donald Trump has not conceded and shows no indication he is going to, with attorneys general […]

Metro Nashville Councilmember Zulfat Suara speaks at an Oct. 2020 event.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville Councilwoman Zulfat Suara rallies support to #EndSARS in native Nigeria

BY: - October 27, 2020

Metro Councilwoman Zulfat Suara ran for office last year with a platform focusing on the wonkiest of issues: city finances, schools funding, taxing policy. Issues like that are in Suara’s wheelhouse since most of her professional career has been spent in the field of accounting and her day job is working as an administrator for […]

Drone view of Black Lives Matter street mural on Woodland Street. (Photo: Alex Kent)

In Nashville, political weekend events on both ends of the spectrum

BY: - October 19, 2020

The combination of a sunny and warm fall day and election season meant activists from both left and right organized weekend events in Nashville and photographers Alex Kent and Ray DiPietro captured the scenes. Saturday morning started with a Women’s March organized by Power Together, which customarily hosts the January Women’s March that was first […]

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, […]

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 […]

Nashville voters eager to elect women of color, but fundraising obstacles remain

BY: - August 11, 2020

On the heels of political newcomer Keeda Haynes coming closer than any challenger has to unseating nine-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, political insiders say Nashville is in the midst of an existential crisis. Campaign advisers, city politicians and organizers say voters are eager to elect women, especially women of color, to top political posts. […]

Marsha Blackburn waves her finger.

Top Homeland Security official vows federal agents ‘will not back away’ from violent protest

BY: - August 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s number two at the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday defended federal law enforcement officers’ intervention in protests in Portland, Oregon, and other cities this summer. Characterizing some of the protests as “mob rule,” Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told lawmakers  that federal agents could exert force in […]