Nashville is at a crucial juncture in its history.
We are not yet a truly diverse city, but we are about to become one, and the real question is: Can we do it right?
The faces of Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East will be present in all walks of Nashville life. The prayers of Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists will echo with those of Protestants and Catholics and Jews. Spanish will be a close second to English in our classrooms and marketplaces. We can see these challenges as opportunities to grow or as threats to the status quo. The choice is ours.
Nashville could be different. It could become a city second to none in this century. For all of its faults, this big patch in the middle of Tennessee is a community. It has drawn people of varied backgrounds to this region for centuries. We might not like one another every day, all the time, but we love Nashville. For that reason alone, we need to get it right in the 21st century.
Almost prophetically, John Egerton wrote these words 12 years ago in Nashville: An American Self-Portrait (20005). "It seems Nashville is still at a crucial juncture of being a truly diverse city that functions as a community."
We’d love to hear your thoughts. How are we doing as a city? Are we doing it right? Can we do it right?