- Shawn Dromgoole confessed about not feeling at home or even safe in his own community.
- The neighborhood where he lived used to be a black neighborhood until black families were forced to move out to find more affordable housing.
- After posting about this discomfort online, he received numerous messages from friends and strangers alike, telling him that they would want to walk with him.
Shawn Dromgoole lives in the same house he grew up in, in Nashville, Tennessee. His family moved there 54 years ago, and over the course of his life, he witnessed how it changed.
The neighborhood used to be a black neighborhood but changed after the economy changed. The black families who lived there moved out to find more affordable housing, replaced with more and more white people who moved in on the neighborhood.
Over time, the black neighborhood disappeared. Shawn was put in a position where he and his family feels out of place in their hometown. He confessed feeling uncomfortable about walking on the streets on his own, terrified about how his neighborhood has changed.
“Growing up in my neighborhood, I could always feel the eyes, the looks and the cars slowing down as they passed by me,” Shawn said.
The increasing numbers of news reports about looting and protests piled added to this discomfort, especially since more and more posts on social media put the blame on people of color, telling other white people to watch out for “suspicious black men.”
He decided to post about this discomfort on an online community bulletin board. For him, there was little to be expected from this. He was sure to receive a few words of encouragement from friends, but what happened next was surprising.
His post on Nextdoor received numerous messages from friends and strangers alike, telling him that they would want to walk with him. From there, he scheduled the time and picked a place to meet and walk with the people who responded to his post. On that day, he was surprised to see 75 people were waiting there to join him.
“I was so overwhelmed, I still can’t find the words. I never wrote that post thinking people would want to walk with me,” Shawn said.
Now, he is planning to push this idea in other cities around the country. He was more than happy about this whole thing, happy that there are things like these that are able to transcend racial barriers. “Everyone was in masks, so you just saw a sea of people, and you couldn’t even tell what color skin they had.”
Source: Good News Network