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Faith of A Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington
Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

What is most factual for me is how Black America has survived this Nation’s long lifetime of oppression; on the least amount of resources:  for our Family Life, for our Educational life, for our Church life, et al.

NOW, Students and their Parents challenge what we have managed to ‘keep alive’ for over 110 years… continuing to impact Black life on a now global level.  Those ‘students and they mamas’ who don’t feel as though TSU meets your expectations of privilege, please move on without using your life as a weapon of destruction against our Institution.

In 2019 I attended the Mayoral Forum at Greater Bethel Church.  What a wonderful surprise to arrive to find the convening of a well oiled meeting of NOAH, (Nashville Organized for Action and Hope) under the leadership of then Bethel’s Pastor, the Rev. Edward Thompson. So prior to The Forum I slipped into the balcony in observance.

To begin with, a Delegation roll call!  Then to find myself in the midst of the most important showing from ‘the people of Nashville’ that I have witnessed. There had been a designation of the “Ten Greatest Problems” of the city.  Then a division of labor to form Ten Research Groups; with the chair of each presenting the findings.  I was, at this point completely engrossed in the level of scholarship on the realities of the city, AS ‘spoken word’.

Vote was then cast per delegation for the ‘Top Three’.  I pause to identify the fact that my top 3 was the bottom 3 for the convention.  The synopsis given by the chair of the “Trafficking Problem”, Dr. Connie Graves of Meharry, brought me in tears as she identified Nashville is #2 in the south, behind Atlanta, in the Trafficking of PEOPLE (not drugs).  It became number 1 for me… tucked away in the balcony.  So in 2019, NOAH put before the Mayoral Forum at Greater Bethel Church the greatest problem of the city of Nashville: “Affordable Housing”!

I appeal to all to this REALity:  The entire nation is suffering from a major Housing crisis.  Black families here in Nashville are being displaced —OUT OF THE City.  Black homes sold out, bought out.  Just open your eyes to the Jefferson Street corridor.  Study the ever rising rate AND new found causes of Homelessness… nationwide!  Yet you persist in laying this National problem, this City problem at the feet of President Glover???  TSU is Surviving as a Leader among HBCUs, many of who are in life and death struggles to keep the doors open.  If you are not WORKING to make Tennessee State University ‘That HBCU’ that will educate the ‘Three Generations’ beyond you, then take Self Inventory… and do it some place else.

You want to Fight?  Fight for the Funds that have already been proven as ‘Owed To You’ after years of this State’s under funding of Federal funds that have yet to reach it’s EARmark.  Your ‘TSU creds’ are lacking if you have not ‘Marched To The State Capital’ at least one time… ‘bout ‘Yo School!

What will it take for the City of Nashville to ‘Own its Creds’ of being #2 in the number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in a single City of this Nation; again, behind Atlanta.  The Housing Problem at TSU is a Nashville problem, it’s a State of Tennessee problem… OWN IT and become a part of the solution!

by email: myfathersmansionpress@gmail.com

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