NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — You can’t talk about black history without stopping here on Jefferson Street. More than 50 years ago, the area was thriving with black businesses and black landlords. Ed Kindell says it’s important that the story be told for years to come.
Kindall was a member of the school board and the Metro Council. He can now add an author to his list of titles.
In 2012, Kindall wrote the book “A Walk Down Historic Jefferson Street”, where he recounts a time when this neighborhood was booming with black businesses.
“Where I’m sitting right now was at a full-service gas station. And it was the bays, those two windows where you park the cars, and they worked on that. On the other side of the street, you had the same as you had a Shell station,” he said.
Kindall said this while sitting in the Alkebu-Lan Images bookstore and gift shop.
He was born and raised in a house on this street. Kindall says the book is just as powerful today as it was 10 years ago when he wrote it.
“I wanted to preserve history, you know. We were losing a lot of history. It took me two years to get the information that I had that I put in the book and believe me no one was keeping pictures for example.”
Construction of the highway nearly 60 years ago cut through this thriving community, displacing black businesses and homes.
Kindall does not want such a story to repeat itself.
In 2021, the city proposed a $120 million project with the goal of reversing the economic harm caused by the construction of Interstate 40.
“I think Jefferson Street, if we do it right and methodically, we could have a model for this country. You know you have a community that’s rejuvenated, and that’s that it’s diverse, both on the socio-economically than racially,” Kindall said. noted.
Discussion of the project has been put on hold. Kindall hopes her book can serve as a model for the future of Jefferson Street.
Alkebu-Lan Images Bookstore & Gift Shop has copies of the book.