Nashville community supports neighbor with just one walk

Source: (WTVF)
Source: (WTVF)(WVLT)
Published: May. 31, 2020 at 4:23 PM EDT
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A Nashville man was scared of the community he no longer recognized but says he was overwhelmed to see just how much those same people cared.

Shawn Dromgoole of Nashville says he is not afraid to tell people that when he walks on 12th Avenue South, he doesn't feel comfortable. He's afraid to do so and when you add the mask, he says it only makes matters worse.

"When I was a kid, there was one thing my mom told me to remember and it was that I was a black man," says Dromgoole.

Shawn says no matter where he is, even in the neighborhood he's known all his life, he feels someone could mistake him as a threat.

"In my mind, all these things are bombarding my thoughts and my emotions and I think, I don't want to be a number," says Dromgoole.

Shawn decided to share how he felt by posting on the NextDoor app saying that he was afraid to walk in his neighborhood and in minutes the responses began pouring in.

"My neighbors said we'll walk with you. One after one," says Dromgoole.

Ten people turned to 20, then 50 all joining Shawn.

As they walked to Sevier Park, Shawn says people were on their balconies, clapping and cheering.

"I was scared to walk alone and now look who is behind me. Look who has my back," says Dromgoole. "I didn't do any of this to be seen. I didn't do anything for a reason. I just wanted to take a walk in my neighborhood, but if it's going to change the way people see people like me, then I want to do that."

Shawn plans to host another walk Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. and says everyone is welcome to take part in the walk which begins on the 2700 block of 9th Avenue South.

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