One of the great things about living in Nashville is our diverse community, and it’s rewarding to see that diversity recognized in different ways.
In November, I had the honor of attending the opening of the Tennessee Tribune store at Nashville International Airport. Skyport Hospitality and Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise owner Jennifer Winchester was on hand Nov. 19 to open the first of two stores carrying the Tennessee Tribune name at BNA. She chose to name the stores after Tennessee’s Black-owned newspaper, which was founded by respected Nashville resident Rosetta Miller-Perry. I’m so proud, because not only is Rosetta a true entrepreneur and lifelong supporter of her community, she is also a good friend.
Now opened for just a few weeks, the first Tennessee Tribune store is located in the Southwest Airlines hub between Terminals C and D. The second store, opening in September, will be located in a pre-security area and open to the general public, not just ticketed passengers. Anyone dropping passengers off or picking someone up will have a great place to wait and browse.
In addition to selling copies of the Tribune, the stores will carry goods from 40 local minority vendors, giving all who visit the opportunity to experience and support local businesses. Brands that will be in the store include Winfrey Family Foods, Maggie Allen Candy, Kandles by Kierra, Kernels Nashville Popcorn, The College Crib and many others. I think everyone is going to enjoy being able to support local businesses from our diverse community. It’s truly exciting for all of us.
The concept of a store featuring local Black-owned businesses is a great one, but I am truly excited that it also shines a light on Rosetta for her longstanding commitment to the African American community.
Thanks to Rosetta and her years of dedication and hard work, the Tennessee Tribune is celebrating 30 years of success. Rosetta had a vision, and as she recently explained to NewsChannel 5, she wanted young people to see something inspirational — that the African American community had “doctors, lawyers, ministers.”
Rosetta and her staff at the Tribune have mentored dozens of future journalists for careers in the field by providing scholarships, internships, training and experience. The Tribune covers topics that other publications have not. “It has been a point of pride for us to serve communities across this state and to elevate those marginalized voices that need to and should be heard,” Rosetta has said.
She has a right to be proud of the newspaper she started in an effort to speak to the issues facing families of color. The Tennessee Tribune has become the state’s largest minority-owned weekly newspaper, in part by developing stories that other publishers may never have pursued.
Rosetta Miller-Perry has long been an incredible trailblazing member of our community, and I am thrilled to see her success continuing. Rosetta is indeed a lady who has pursued greatness and achieved it. As Fraport Tennessee vice president Matt Jennings said, “This new concept honors [Rosetta’s work] and the 30-year legacy she has built by serving the community and caring for others.” He added that with this initiative “visitors can learn about her tremendous contributions to African Americans and the community overall while experiencing Middle Tennessee’s diverse cultural offerings.”
I’m very excited for Rosetta and her staff at the Tribune. These stores are a fine testament to her life’s work and to a job well done.
Bill Freeman is the owner of FW Publishing, the publishing company that produces the Nashville Scene, Nfocus, the Nashville Post and Home Page Media Group in Williamson County. He is also chairman of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.
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