This Is Nashville This Is Nashville is a live one-hour daily show driven by community, for community. This flagship program of WPLN News will become your one-stop-shop for news in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, as we continue to show up each day.
This Is Nashville

This Is Nashville


This Is Nashville is a live one-hour daily show driven by community, for community. This flagship program of WPLN News will become your one-stop-shop for news in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, as we continue to show up each day.

Most Recent Episodes

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza on faith, activism and embodiment

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza has been on a mission to truly understand their body. The transqueer theologian, activist and Nashville resident recently published a new book, Body Becoming: A Path to Our Liberation. It charts their journey to understanding our bodies as profoundly meaningful connection points to the world and to each other. They join us to talk about their book, their activism and how this idea of embodiment might help build a better world. But first, WPLN political reporter Blaise Gainey has an update about how the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is impacting Tennesseans.

Examining the local impact of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health this morning, overturning Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional right to abortion. In Tennessee, this means a nearly total ban on abortion will likely go into effect in 30 days as a result of a so-called "trigger law," designed to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. More than two dozen other states have similar laws in place. To help us understand what this news means for our communities here in Tennessee, we're joined by a panel of legal experts, abortion rights activists, and reproductive health experts. But first, we'll hear from senior health care reporter Blake Farmer on exactly how Tennessee's laws on abortion will change, and how it will impact people in our state. Guests: Blake Farmer, WPLN senior health care reporter Briana Perry, co-executive director of Healthy and Free Tennessee Carole Caprio, who worked for Planned Parenthood before Roe v. Wade Robyn Baldridge, president of Abortion Care for Tennessee Ellen Clayton, professor of law at Vanderbilt University

Examining the local impact of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade

Exploring the living history of Promise Land, Tennessee

Promise Land was established and settled by formerly enslaved people near Charlotte, Tenn., during Reconstruction. The original settlers included at least five former members of the United States Colored Troops: Clark Garrett, Landin Williams, Ed Vanleer and the brothers John and Arch Nesbitt. The community grew at one point to about 1,000 acres, home to about 50 families. It remained independent and flourished in spite of Jim Crow. But during the Great Migration, families began moving away, many to Ohio and other locations in the Midwest. By the 1950s, the town dwindled and only a few families remained. At one point, just about two descendants of the original settlers remained. Today, the St. John Promise Land Church and the old Promise Land School Building are all that remain of the original town. The school closed in 1957 and, thanks to the efforts of the Promise Land Heritage Association, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. Each June, descendants and others gather to celebrate this place and to keep its stories alive. But first, at the top of the show, we respond to your comments with our weekly @ us! segment. Guests: Serina Kay Gilbert, descendant of three founding families; executive director of Promise Land Heritage Association Sokoto Fulani, descendant of John Nesbitt Learotha Williams, professor of African American and public history, Tennessee State University

Gamer for life

Gaming = community. That's what this is about. It's about connecting with people, learning new skills and breaking out of your comfort zone. Throughout the pandemic, gaming brought a lot of folks together online — in an otherwise isolating time. Whether role-playing, board games, e-sports or virtual gaming, the gaming subculture is alive and thriving here in Nashville. We invited players who are passionate about their gaming communities to hear what this outlet means to them, and what it means to Nashville. But first, we check in on how evictions could impact voter turnout. Guests: Dulce Torres Guzman, Tennessee Lookout reporter Naz, Twitch streamer and new D&D gamer Ronnie Foster, Late Night Game Night organizer for The Next Level Games Jessica Manrow, Twitch Streamer Larry Neal, Board gamer, Designer, Podcaster Andy Matthews, Meeple Mountain Special thanks to: Bob Bernstein and Rick Keuler of Game Point Cafe for their help with this episode. Check out their schedule of events or stop by any time to get some gaming on.

Rebroadcast: Preserving Fort Negley's past while planning for its future

The This Is Nashville team is off for Juneteenth. We are rebroadcasting our episode about Fort Negley, which originally aired on April 4. Nashville is developing a new master plan for Fort Negley, one of the city's most significant and unique historical landmarks. The fort was built during the Civil War by conscripted free Black men and women for the Union Army. The U.S. Colored Troops who defended Fort Negley during the war remained and settled Nashville's first post-Emancipation Black neighborhood at the base of the hill. The Bass Street neighborhood was a thriving area until it was destroyed in the 1950s and '60s to make way for Interstate 65. Now, former Bass Street residents and their descendants are fighting to reclaim the narrative of the neighborhood as the city decides what to do with the space. But first, WPLN's environmental reporter Caroline Eggers tells us about how a project at MTSU will track temperatures around Nashville. Guests: Caroline Eggers, WPLN environmental reporter Angela Sutton, director of the Fort Negley Descendants Project and historian at Vanderbilt University Jeneene Blackman, CEO of the African American Cultural Alliance Gary Burke, Civil War reenactor whose great-great grandfather served at Fort Negley with the U.S. Colored Troops

Rebroadcast: Preserving Fort Negley's past while planning for its future

Keeping cool during Nashville's record-breaking heat wave

If you've stepped outside in Nashville this week, you know the heat right now is no joke. The fire department has responded to dozens of heat sickness-related calls just this week. Residents are being asked to conserve energy to reduce strain on the grid. Forecasters expect things to cool down just a bit over the Juneteenth weekend, but then we could hit 100 degrees next week. How long has it been since that happened? We pose that and more burning questions to a meteorologist. We also talk with Nashvillians who spend most or all of their time outdoors about how they're coping, and with service providers who are working to provide relief to those who are most vulnerable. At the top of the hour, we talk with WPLN senior health care reporter Blake Farmer about harm reduction efforts at music festivals, including Bonnaroo, which gets under way this weekend. Guests: Sam Shamburger, lead forecaster at National Weather Service Nashville Maurice Ballard, vendor for The Contributor Phoenix, unhoused Nashville resident Alex Smith, outreach worker Carrie Gatlin, vice president of ministries at Nashville Rescue Mission Hot weather resources: The Metro Action Commission Fan and Air Conditioner program provides fans and air conditioner window units to those in need at no cost. To apply or to make a contribution, call 615-862-8860, ext. 70120, or go to the agency's website. The Metro Office of Emergency Management has published a list of heat precautions on their website Heat safety tips from The National Weather Service

Tennessee's 51-year life sentences

In Tennessee, anyone found guilty of first-degree murder is sentenced to a minimum 51-years in prison – even if they were under 18 at the time of the crime. Al Jazeera's "Fault Lines" series recently released a documentary about Almeer Nance — a Knoxville man who received what is essentially a life sentence for felony murder in 1997. He was 16 when the crime happened and didn't pull the trigger. Documentarian Jeremy Young joins us to talk about his work and Nance's case. Then we hear from Nance's family, a man who was incarcerated in Tennessee and sentencing reform advocates to learn where this sentence came from and how it disproportionately affects Black prisoners. Guests: Jeremy Young, documentarian Jameerial Johnson, daughter of Almeer Nance Rahim Buford, former insider and sentencing reform advocate Rev. Jeannie Alexander, co-founder and co-director of No Exceptions Prison Collective Dawn Deaner, director of Choosing Justice Initiative, former public defender for Davidson County

Let's talk mental health in Middle Tennessee

From political turmoil and police brutality to inflation and an ongoing pandemic, the past few years have been incredibly stressful for many people. But for those looking for help, mental health care can be confusing to navigate and expensive to access. The stigma that surrounds discussing care and mental health challenges openly makes things more complicated. To learn more about the importance of accessing care and the difference it can make, as well how the mental health landscape has shifted over the past few years, we're joined by a panel of guests with lived experience. To discuss solutions and resources, we're joined by leaders from local community organization and city government. Guests: Dr. Amy Mariaskin, founding director of Nashville OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center Woodrow Lucas, CEO of Empowered Recovery Consulting Wade Anderton, art dealer, recovering alcoholic, and double familial suicide survivor Robin Nobling, executive director NAMI Davidson County Sheldon Walker, Metro Health suicide prevention coordinator and co-chair of the Suicide Prevention in the African American Faith Community Coalition Resources: 24 hour TN Mental Health Crisis Line: 855-274-7471 NAMI Davidson Co. Weekday Info and Referral Helpline: 615-891-4724 Psychology Today Therapist Finder NAMI Family and Friends Primer

Nashville has a new Black symphony

If you were to buy a ticket to the symphony right now — here in Nashville, or in another city — you likely wouldn't see many Black performers. That won't be the case at this weekend's inaugural performance of the Nashville African American Wind Symphony. The group aims to challenge what has become the norm in classical spaces. We talk to members of the group about why they felt a Black symphony was needed. Then, educators and students talk about ways to bridge the gap. But first — the way we pronounce the names of some places in Tennessee can raise eyebrows for newcomers. But, even long-time residents can't always explain why those names are the way they are. This prompted a question to our Curious Nashville project and sent WPLN's Marianna Bacallao in search of the stories behind a few prominent place names. Guests: Marianna Bacallao, WPLN's afternoon host Bruce Ayers, founder of the Nashville African American Wind Symphony Ashley Crawford, president of the board of the Nashville African American Wind Symphony Lee Pringle, founder and artistic director of the Colour of Music Festival Xayvion Davidson, bassoonist and recent high school graduate Jabril Muhammad, trumpet player and recent TSU graduate Margaret Campbelle-Holman, executive director and founder of Choral Arts Link

Rebroadcast: Who is Nashville's nightlife really for?

Note: This episode originally aired on March 4. The honky-tonks on Lower Broadway contribute to Nashville's economy and its reputation as a destination party city. While "NashVegas" has become a playground for bachelorette parties, locals have pushed back — complaining about unruly tourists and under-regulated party vehicles. Things got so out of hand that the word "transportainment" made its first appearance in The New York Times last year. In this episode, host Khalil Ekulona talks to some of the people who make Nashville's nightlife tick, and also asks the question: Who is Nashville's nightlife really for? But first, Congressional hearings about the January 6 insurrection are underway. WPLN political reporter Blaise Gainey joins us with an update about the Tennesseans accused of taking part in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Guests: Blaise Gainey, WPLN political reporter Gabe Lee, Americana singer-songwriter The Nashville Cowboy Colby Barrett Katie Saddiq, manager and bartender at Rosemary & Beauty Queen Tiffany Taylor, doula and culture writer at 2L's on a Cloud Reginald Pierre, YouTube vlogger