Shawn Dromgoole

Shawn Dromgoole

Afraid To Walk His Own Neighborhood, 75 Neighbors Join Him

“I wanted to do anything I could to dispel his fear.”

June 4, 2020
Categories: 

This.

THIS IS WHO WE ARE. 

The simple act of taking a walk with someone can change their life.  Their perspective.  Forever.

Twenty-nine year-old black man Shawn Dromgoole has lived in his Nashville neighborhood his entire life.  His family's been in the same house for 54 years.  But Dromgoole said that since he was a child, he felt an unease in his hometown, acutely aware that few people looked like him.  The neighborhood changed a lot as he was growing up.  Black families moved out, white ones moved in.  He started to feel more unwelcome.  Started to wonder if what happened to Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, could happen to him.

From the MSN story:

Consumed with fear, Dromgoole took to Facebook and Nextdoor, deciding to finally share his own post.  “Yesterday, I wanted to walk around my neighborhood but the fear of not returning home to my family alive kept me on my front porch,” he wrote. 

Unexpectedly, responses from his community started pouring in. Neighbors, none of whom Dromgoole had ever spoken with, asked if they could join him on a walk.  “Neighbor, after neighbor, after neighbor started reaching out, telling me they wanted to walk with me,” he said.

Last Thursday afternoon, Dromgoole notified his neighbors that he was going for a walk at 6 p.m., and anyone who wanted to join him was welcome.

Dromgoole tied his shoes, ventured off his porch and walked to the meeting spot in a nearby parking lot.

There he found 75 people waiting for him.

“I was so overwhelmed, I still can’t find the words,” said Dromgoole. “I never wrote that post thinking people would want to walk with me.”  The group strolled for almost an hour together, with Dromgoole leading the way as his neighbors followed closely behind.  “It was the most amazing feeling,” said Dromgoole. “Everyone was in masks, so you just saw a sea of people, and you couldn’t even tell what color skin they had.”

Beautiful thing is, the kindness touched the neighborhood as much as it did George.

“It warmed my heart to see the acceptance that Shawn had,” said Meitra Aycock, 54, the neighborhood association president, who joined the walk. “He could have held a lot of anger in his heart about the way he has historically been treated in our neighborhood. It was very meaningful to see how open he was.”

Make sure you click the link to read the entire thing.  

You might need this today.