75 people join black man who said he was afraid of walking home alone


Seventy-five Nashville, Tenn., residents accompanied a black man on his walk home after he spoke up about feeling unwelcome in the increasingly gentrified neighborhood.

Shawn Dromgoole, a 29-year-old logistics processor at Nordstrom who was recently furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic, said he was particularly uneasy after the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man shot while jogging in a Georgia suburb, and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died during an arrest by Minneapolis police last week.

“What happened to these men could easily happen to me,” Dromgoole told The Washington Post also noting an uptick on the neighborhood-based social media platform Nextdoor warning of “suspicious” men. “I became scared to walk past my porch.”

Dromgoole shared his fears on Facebook and Nextdoor, writing “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.”

After he posted, he said, “neighbor, after neighbor, after neighbor started reaching out, telling me they wanted to walk with me.”

On Thursday, he told neighbors he planned to take a walk at 6 p.m. that day, inviting anyone who wanted to join him. When he arrived at a starting point in a parking lot he had mentioned, there were 75 people waiting to walk with him, he said.

“I was so overwhelmed, I still can’t find the words,” Dromgoole told the Post. “I never wrote that post thinking people would want to walk with me.”

The group walked for about an hour, most of them wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said, “so you just saw a sea of people, and you couldn’t even tell what color skin they had.”

Tags Ahmaud Arbery Ahmaud Arbery Black Lives Matter George Floyd George Floyd nashville Nextdoor Tennessee

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