A Nashville community has rallied around a man who was afraid to walk outside alone.
Last week, Nashville stylist Shawn Marqus Dromgoole took to social media to share that he wanted to walk around his childhood neighborhood, but his fear of possibly not returning home prevented him from leaving his house. This post from Shawn came just days after the death of George Floyd, which has now led to a call for justice around the nation.
"Yesterday I wanted to walk around my neighborhood but The fear of not returning home to my family alive kept me on my front porch," Shawn wrote to his Instagram followers. "Today I wanted to walk again and I could not make it off the porch. Then I called my mother and she said she would walk with [me]. I still kept my ID on me and my phone in my hand but I walked."
Shawn added the hashtags #Icantbreath #icantsleep #icantwalk.
Shawn's message was also reportedly posted on the Nextdoor app, which connects neighbors together. In response, Shawn's community showed their support and walked with him.
"I was afraid to walk by myself in my childhood neighborhood, because I was afraid I wouldn't live to see another day," Shawn wrote to his followers on Instagram over the weekend. "When I shared this fear with my neighbors they said we will walk with you. This is only the beginning!!!!"
Shawn later returned to social media to thank everyone for their support.
"Thank you for walking with me and making me feel human and heard," he wrote. "Your support at this time has meant the world to me. However, you haven't just impacted me, you have also impacted others who look like me, talk like me, and feel like me. You've impacted the world!"
"I didn't do any of this to be seen. I didn't do anything for any reason. I just wanted to take a walk in my neighborhood... but if it is going to change the way people see people like me then I want to do that," Shawn said. "Can't wait to see you all at our next gathering. Let's walk!"
Amid the outpouring of love and support, Shawn tells E! News, "Everyone, no matter who you are, no matter what your socio-economic status is, everyone is a neighbor. Everyone is a neighbor and everyone deserves the ability to walk in their neighborhood without fear."
As citizens across the nation call for justice following the death of George Floyd, E! is standing in support.
"E! stands in solidarity with the black community against systemic racism and oppression experienced every day in America," the network said in a statement on May 31. "We owe it to our black staff, talent, production partners and viewers to demand change and accountability. To be silent is to be complicit. #BlackLivesMatter."