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& Engaging the
Creativity of Black People
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free
human being with an independent will.
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
"The Gem Theatre is now some sort of nightclub and Mulvaney Street is gone. Completely wiped out. Assassinated along with the old people who made it live. I looked over and saw that the lady who used to cry “Hot fish! Good hot fish!” no longer had a Cal Johnson Park to come to and set up her stove in...Mrs. Abrum and her reverend husband from rural Tennessee wouldn’t bring us any more goose eggs from across the street...All gone, not even to a major highway but to a cutoff of a cutoff. All the old people who died from lack of adjustment died for a cutoff of a cutoff."
- Nikki Giovanni, an exerpt from "400 Mulvaney Street"
Now Hall of Fame drive, Mulvaney Street was a monumental source of black community before Knoxville's Urban Renewal projects in 1959-1974.
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