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Topic: If Austin Peay Could Talk

If Austin Peay Could Talk – Sheila’s Story

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – My mom is a retired teacher (and so is her sister), so education has always been an important part of my life. For my brother, sister and me, the question was not if we were going to college but where.  I graduated from the College of Charleston (CofC) in 1985. 

Sheila Bryant. (APSU)

Sheila Bryant. (APSU)

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This Week at APSU: Stories of Confronting Racism, Navigating the Pandemic, Finding Home

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – “If Austin Peay Could Talk” is a new, special series about listening. Paying tribute to James Baldwin’s novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the essays in this series are meant to magnify the experiences of the University’s Black faculty and staff. 

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

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If Austin Peay Could Talk: Jessica’s Story

 

Of culture and compromise             

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – I am a descendent of the Gullah Geechee people of South Carolina. We are people, culture, and language, maintaining our African heritage with pride and demonstrating a resolve to hold our connection to that history.

Our language is a Creole dialect and unique, but growing up, I acquired an understanding of how differences in language can be rooted in prejudice.

Austin Peay State University assistant professor Dr. Jessica Fripp. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University assistant professor Dr. Jessica Fripp. (APSU)

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If Austin Peay Could Talk: Eva’s Story

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – No one had to tell me I was Black. I distinctly remember the day that I was treated as less than due to the color of my skin.

I recall my time in a convenience store when the white clerk intentionally skipped me to assist the next white customer in line. I was shocked, hurt and silenced.

Dr. Eva Gibson

Dr. Eva Gibson

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If Austin Peay Could Talk: LaNeeça’s Story

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Loving vs. Virginia was a landmark civil rights decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that banned interracial marriage.

Virginia’s interracial marriage law violated the 14th Amendment and in 1967 it became legal for interracial couples to marry in the United States.

Williams' parents, Rick and Carolyn Forshee, in 1983.

Williams’ parents, Rick and Carolyn Forshee, in 1983.

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If Austin Peay Could Talk: Dannelle’s Story

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – My grandfather was a pillar in his community – a grocery store owner who built his store with his own hands. Through many family stories, I began to understand that he was a hell-raiser for justice.

One of his arch nemeses was a known racist politician in his community – let’s just call him Albert Holmes.

Dannelle Whiteside. (APSU)

Dannelle Whiteside. (APSU)

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