Breaking barriers is something we are familiar with at the Nashville Stars. Our Star of the Month, Amanda Martinez, is doing just that at Middle Tennessee State University this semester. During her teaching fellowship in the Department of Recording History, she will focus specifically on the history of country music.
"As a society, we have short term historical memory," said Martinez. "Teaching through the lens of cultural history is a way to get people's attention. We can touch on the larger themes of history through studying culture."
With over ten years of traveling to Nashville for school and work, she is now planting roots in Music City. Starting as an intern at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Martinez realized that her passion grew by telling stories through the archives. Now 10 years later, she is telling those stories to students while analyzing topics such as race and gender relations, material culture, generational conflict, and the role of "authenticity" in the history and culture of American country music.
Martinez also notices the great strides the community has made in recent years to celebrate its culture. "The National Museum of African American Music, the first Black owned business opening on Broadway (Slim & Husky's), 5th Avenue changing to Rep. John Lewis Way, the work the Nashville Stars are doing... There is a rich black history in Nashville to celebrate."
Martinez is from the San Francisco Bay Area and a lifetime Giants fan. One of her favorite things about the game is the sense of family in the baseball community. "With all the uncertainty in the world, it's comforting to turn on MLB TV to the familiar voices of Jon Miller and Kruk & Kuip," said Martinez. With the historic background of the "Nashville Stars" name, she commends our commitment to honoring the Negro League teams of the past. "For us to know our history, we can better tackle the problems of today," said Martinez. "By analyzing the past, we can become a better, more equal society moving forward."