Posted inEconomic Development, Environmental Justice

Black Communities Fight for a Voice in Electric Vehicle Manufacturing

Standing on the shoulders of those before them, community members of rural Mason, Tennessee, gathered this past Juneteenth at Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. They were there to publicly announce a list of demands for their new neighbor, a multibillion-dollar Ford electric vehicle plant. Set to open next year, the facility promises billions to the […]

Posted inHistory, Politics & Policy

Black Residents Battle Against Tennessee GOP’s Effort to Ban Reparations

The Rev. Earle J. Fisher, an activist and longtime resident of Memphis, Tennessee, is battling against yet another assault on Black economic and political progress by state Republicans. Since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, these efforts have ramped up, particularly in majority-Black Shelby County, the largest county in the state. Just last month, […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

Justin J. Pearson and Justin Jones Won, but the Assault on Democracy Continues

Tennessee state Reps. Justin J. Pearson and Justin Jones — the two young Black Democrats who were expelled in April after they joined gun reform protests on the chamber floor — handily reclaimed their seats in special general elections on Thursday, per unofficial results. Even so, civil rights advocates say that this moment ought to serve […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

‘This Is Not Democracy’: Read Justin J. Pearson’s Comments on His Expulsion in Tennessee

Tennessee state Rep. Justin J. Pearson — one of two Black Tennessee lawmakers who were expelled on Thursday — fit himself into a long history of civil rights activism when he told reporters that he’ll “never shirk back from civil disobedience” because that kind of defiance is “what built this country.” Like his fellow Democrat […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

‘The World Is Watching’: Read Justin Jones’ Comments on His Expulsion in Tennessee 

Justin Jones made it clear that “there comes a time when people get sick and tired of being sick and tired.” During an emotional seven-hour session on Thursday, Jones didn’t mince words. He was the first of two Black Tennessee lawmakers, both Democrats, to be expelled from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Hours later, his […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

How an Anti-Drag Bill Is Creating Fear Among Some Black LGBTQ Tennesseans

Alexia Noelle Paris has been a drag artist for six years, performing nearly every weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives, or in California. For her, drag isn’t merely a form of entertainment — it’s an outlet. “I’ve always appreciated drag, even though initially I didn’t think that it was something for me,” Paris said. […]