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Dolly Parton’s Decision To Push The Dirt Changed A Black Neighborhood For Good

When you mention the name Dolly Parton, what comes into mind is her country music, but very few will associate her with real estate. After several decades of the release of her hit single “I Will Always Love You”, the Washington Post reports that Dolly Parton did not use all the money she received from the song for herself. The paper reports that part of the royalties from the single was invested into real estate. Estimates put that Patron earned a minimum of $10 million in the form of royalties. Those in the music scene will tell you that the song may not have performed so well at first, but after Whitney Houston’s version that became the soundtrack to a blockbuster film, The Bodyguard, “I Will Always Love You” shot to fame. Even though many will not associate the song with Dolly Parton, it is worth noting that Parton earned some royalties from it and she did what Woman in the Dirt advocates for - women investing in real estate.

Parton invested in a neighborhood called Sevier Park, a predominantly black neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee. According to Parton, this was the perfect place to be. Property records show that she bought a 6,317 square foot Mission-style complex that is now known as 12 South. Historians say that Dolly’s decision played a huge part in shaping the community of Sevier Park. It was before then an unwanted area, but she changed all that through pushing dirt, getting into real estate, and changing the perception and landscape of an area that only knew of funeral homes, churches, and small businesses. No realtor would have advised Parton to invest here; anyone who cared to listen would know that it was thought that she had made an unwise decision. She chose to push the dirt, and years down the line, she became famous for bringing into the limelight an area that people knew little about.

The black community owes it to this celebrity for changing their neighborhood; most of those who bought a property in the area did so because a celebrity had endorsed it. Although she did it silently, her action to invest in the neighborhood changed investors’ perceptions; they started seeing the area from a different angle. They saw its potential and put their money into it. With her wealth, she could have afforded real estate property in any part of Nashville, but she chose here, pushed the dirt, and changed an area. Womanpower can change the world. Do not be afraid of venturing into real estate. You never know who is watching; you may inspire a generation, just by a single action. Let’s push the dirt.


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