Preserving the History and Culture of North Nashville

By Janae Hudson

This week, we are shining a spotlight on Cashville Etc’s beautiful “Faces of North Nashville” gallery, which is dedicated to celebrating the rich history of North Nashville and its influence of Black culture.  

Iconic. Influential. Overlooked.

These are all words that describe North Nashville and its sacred past. The neighborhood’s influence on Black culture and American history are largely forgotten, but efforts to unearth facts and relics from its past are always celebrated. Cashville Etc., Nashville-based clothing brand owned by Carlos Partee, has launched the “Faces of North Nashville” exhibit to honor the past and present of the neighborhood. 

With hats and shirts boasting the names of HBCUs and other cultural topics relevant to the area, Partee’s brand has clearly been a long

Friends Ewing (left) and Partee (right) curated the “Faces of North Nashville” gallery

-time supporter of all things Black and North Nashville-centric. Cashville Etc., newest endeavor to honor the past is nothing short of powerful. The gallery was created by Partee and Michael Ewing, Curator of Social and Cultural Infrastructure at Fisk University. The pair searched through archives at Fisk and eventually formed “Faces of North Nashville.”

Watch North Nashville grow and become the cultural giant it was through a series of photos dating back to 1904. The carefully curated portraits narrate the story of businesses, families and iconic parts of the neighborhood that fell prey to gentrification and the construction of I-40. Guests also have the opportunity to add their own pictures to the gallery. 

Not only does “Faces of North Nashville” highlight the fading history of a predominantly Black neighborhood, but it also sheds lights on a scary issue that other communities experience as well. Chicago’s Bronzeville and Houston’s Fourth Ward are all areas that have been confronted with gentrification and erasure. Mourning the loss of history is necessary, but continuing to keep it alive despite the erasure is the key to protecting the legacies of historically Black communities.

The “Faces of North Nashville” gallery can be found at 100 Taylor Arts Collective at 100 Taylor Street, Nashville, TN 37208 until Friday, December 30, 2022. Entry is free. Reserve your spot using the link below.