NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville is known for so many fun things, from music to sports, to nightlife and food.
But beyond the lights of Broadway, far less evident to the casual observer, are visual reminders of our city’s historical past, and its ties to slavery - ties that helped shape the culture of music that thrives here today.
While slavery is a history many residents find uncomfortable to discuss, one local woman is passionate about making sure it’s a story we don’t forget.
“It’s really the story of resilience, of perseverance, of building,” says Chatika Patterson, who leads a series of walking tours called United Street Tours.
Patterson leads a handful of different walking tours around the greater Nashville area. Her topics cover soul food, hidden music history and various tours and topics around civil rights. Her most popular tour is called, Slavery to Freedom. It’s a one-hour walk through the heart of downtown Nashville, where she points-out locations that were critical to ending segregation and she tells the personal stories of individuals that bravely challenged the status quo.
“It’s the story about a group of people who went through horrible things and still kept moving forward and forward and forward to reach their own version of success,” she said.
Patterson said she gets people from all over the world on her tours. She finds it especially satisfying when local residents or businesses join the tour, gaining a deeper knowledge of the city where they live and work.
“When people come on our civil rights tour, or people who don’t come, think this happened so, so long ago, I always tell them ‘no the people who participated in these movements, they are still walking around like you and I today,’” she said.