United Street Tours

[Part 2] Addressing racial ignorance by turning adversity into opportunity

[Part 2] Addressing racial ignorance by turning adversity into opportunity

Chakita Patterson founder of United Street Tours Nashville Walking Tour

Imagine you took a Nashville civil war tour.

You’ve met a fantastic group of people on the Black History Walking Tour of Nashville, and they’ve invited you on their private civil war tour.

Turns out it’s at Fort Negley, the best and most historical place to learn about African Americans who built the fort. Could there be a better place?

You’re excited about your evening so you arrive early. When the tour guide and the group arrive, you notice something different about the tour guide’s shirt.

Your smile wavers slightly as you get close enough to see the little confederate flag images decorating it.

Confederate Flag History

You decide to give the guy a chance and not be too quick to judge. With a huge smile, you participate in introductions.

But then you notice that the tour guide shakes all the white people’s hands but skips yours. Maybe he didn’t see it, cool. You let it go and look forward to enjoying the tour.

It turns out, he’s not too happy about the black history at Fort Negley and vocalizes it by degrading the black legacy.

“Turn your adversity into opportunity.”

In my last post, I talked about a conference that I attended. One of the primary points addressed at the conference was the authenticity of our shared history. From the research shared at the conference, I quickly realized that it was not only disrespectful but false. Addressing this tour guide with facts was easy.

It also presented a second opportunity. After learning about what happened, the historical commission contacted me to address the issue. I was also presented with the opportunity that Tim Walker briefly mentioned at the conference. The opportunity to be the “voice for Nashville’s black history.” The project involves doing voiceovers for a series of self-guided walking tours that are meant to educate the public on the history of Nashville.

Here’s a list of actions I use to address racial ignorance.

How I Became One Of The Youngest Historical Commissioners

[Part 1]  Taking advantage of ‘hot seat opportunities’

[Part 2] Addressing racial ignorance by turning adversity into opportunity

[Part 3] Overcoming imposter syndrome

[Part 4] Getting a seat at the table

[Part 5] Becoming a board member for leading organizations

[Part 6] Creating award-winning Nashville tours

[Part 7] Interviewing with Nashville council members

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