Jeannette Holland and Erik Townsend

Recorded May 19, 2023 Archived May 19, 2023 51:10 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddc002601


Jeannette Holland (68) speaks with her son Erik Townsend (31) about her experience transferring high schools her Junior year at the onset of integration in Nashville, Tennessee. Jeannette recalls the safety and support she felt at her all-Black high school Cameron, and explains the loss of community she experienced when transferring to McGavock.

Subject Log / Time Code

Jeannette (J) talks about wanting to be a pediatrician as a child.
J speaks on the "community feel" of her all-Black high school growing up, equating it to a bubble where everyone cared for each other.
J explains why she hated being bussed to a school outside of her community starting her Junior year and missing out on prom and graduation.
J remembers being in the honor society at her former school, Cameron, and her grades dropping when she arrived at her new school, McGavock.
J speaks fondly of being in Band and dancing at Cameron and remembers how much she loved the library. She remembers not liking McGavock’s band or prom.
J explains why the parents in her neighborhood could not be a part of the community at McGavock.
J remembers feeling unsafe from day one at McGavock.
J recalls a student’s father writing a list of grievances against Black students in the local Nashville Banner and the student council protesting it.
J equates her childhood as a safe cocoon and McGavock taking her outside of that.
J expresses her desire for there to have been an open forum to discuss how to go about desegregation.
J describes what freedom means to her and why ‘reciprocity’ is her favorite word.
Erik speaks a bit about his educational experience and Erik and J express what they love and admire about one another


  • Jeannette Holland
  • Erik Townsend

Recording Locations

Nashville Public Television

Venue / Recording Kit

Partnership Type

Fee for Service