“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
– 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The above passage offers a heartwarming comfort to the modern believer: the comfort of knowing our God comforts us.
Truly, the days we live in, we find tribulation to be ever present.
It seems every day presents some new political strife, corporate corruption, or natural or manmade disaster, and all on top of the day-to-day strife each of us faces individually.
It can be exhausting, indeed, I’ve spoken with many people who’ve said the same sorts of things.
So many say they find themselves struggling to focus, to keep up with all the tasks that need fulfilling, while being more forgetful and more stressed.
by DarKenya W. Waller Legal Aid Society of Tennessee
During February, we observe Black History Month by examining how the contributions and sacrifices of Black men and women have improved the world we live in. But in many ways, the equality that those before us fought for has still not been achieved.
Now that February is over, the question remains: What can we be doing all year to bring about racial justice?
It’s the question that, more than ever, drives our work at Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. While social justice has always been part of our mission, it has taken on a new intentionality since the violent death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. In the days immediately following that tragedy, we established a Racial Justice and Equity Team, made up of 30 staff and volunteers to take a closer look at the work we do through a lens of racial equity.
Through our work with clients across Middle Tennessee, our goal is to specifically identify and dismantle the effects of racism. While our programs only address a fraction of the many needs that exist, they all tie into a common theme of creating opportunities for members of marginalized communities.
The Harpes were staying on the move to lessen the likelihood of being caught. They were aware of the basic tenets of thievery and mischief.
It was less than 50 years after Dr. Thomas Walker documented the discovery of Cumberland Gap in 1750 when the Harpe brothers spread their misery and mayhem along the trails of early America. It was less than a quarter century after Daniel Boone led his band of thirty men blazing the trails from Sycamore Shoals (Elizabethton, TN) to the Kentucky River. It opened the floodgates to pioneers along the Wilderness Road.
Early Americans found it hazardous to trek through the area because Indians disdained relinquishing the land where their forefathers had lived and hunted for centuries. There were also individuals like the Harpes who went westward to escape from the law, to evade prosecution.
A cavalcade of wagons and horsemen discovered a body along the Wilderness Road near the young settlement of Barbourville in 1797 after noticing a flock of buzzards circling above. The dead man was a peddler along the early trails as he was found with his grip nearby, void of its contents. He had been tomahawked and covered with brush in order to avoid early detection.