Black Murfreesboro

by Terry Watson | March 19th, 2020
Mylikia Franklin and Germayle Franklin

Mylikia Franklin and Germayle Franklin

Black Culture Connected (dba) Black Murfreesboro is a non-profit organization located in Nashville, TN. Their mission is to connect people to businesses, events, and topics centered around black lifestyle. They hope to be the one-stop-shop for learning what is going on in the black community within Murfreesboro, TN and surrounding areas.

Black Murfreesboro was founded by power couple Mylikia Franklin and Germayle Franklin. The group’s administrators in addition to Mylikia and Germayle includes Corell Oglesby.

How the couple met and became one is by no means an accident. Germayle Franklin moved from Waycross, GA to Murfreesboro in 2002 on a full football scholarship from Middle Tennessee State University. Mylikia moved to Murfreesboro in 2005 from Detroit, MI. That is where they were acquainted. They both fell in love with Murfreesboro. Not long after he graduated, they were married and purchased their home in Murfreesboro. “We knew it was a great place to raise our four children and start a business,” they said.

Corell Oglesby grew up in Jackson, TN and came to Murfreesboro to attend MTSU. She is married to Jonas Oglesby, who attended MTSU, and they have two children. Their family recently chose Murfreesboro as home after living in surrounding cities.

Black Murfreesboro started in May 2019 while Germayle and I were working in their business, Franklin’s Fruit Tea. “We were on the square in downtown Murfreesboro vending and there weren’t many people at this particular festival. At a previous event, I had success posting our location on Facebook in various groups, so I told Germayle I was about to do just that. I went to Facebook groups and began to post. I then went to Black Nashville, then typed in Black Murfreesboro. Seeing we were in Murfreesboro, it just made sense. To my surprise, there was no group called Black Murfreesboro. So right there on the Square of Murfreesboro, I created the group. It wasn’t until around October and while talking to Corell did we start inviting members to the group. To all our surprise, the group began to grow at a fascinating rate,” Mylikia shares.

The focus of Black Murfreesboro is to be a source for people wanting to connect or simply find out what’s going on in the black community. The city of Murfreesboro’s population is more than 141,000 residents with African Americans making up 19% of its total population or nearly 26,790 black residents, and not including the surrounding areas. Mylikia says that unfortunately, when she opens a newspaper or look at local events, there’s not much highlighted that aligns with black culture.

“Not seeing events, businesses and topics that are important to the black community can leave a feeling of void and isolation. A sense of community and belonging is essential to the soul and that’s just what we are focused on,” she says.

The success of Black Murfreesboro is directly connected to the actions of its leaders. Mylikia’s is somewhat of a social butterfly and according to her husband, she will talk down a wall if given the chance. She has a love for small business and is inspired by other entrepreneurs. “Watching people work on their craft is fascinating. The fact they can turn their passion into a business and thrive is nothing short of amazing,” she shares.

She credits her mother Carolyn Ross, “The Shea Butter Lady”, for impacting her life and business the most. “She has owned businesses ever since I can remember. Even today she owns African Shea Butter, Etc. She taught me how to run our family-owned Pet Shop in Detroit, MI when I was just eight years old. I watched her succeed, fail, and get right back up and succeed again. Her spirit of entrepreneurship has helped me in each business I have owned. Her perseverance taught me to remove fear and step out on faith. Her motto is, ‘A scared man can’t win! Nothing beats a failure but a try!’ In other words, you will never know what you can do until you try,” she says.

Mylikia advises others who may follow in her footsteps to do what you love. “Stay true to your morals and core values. It’s easy to be persuaded by others but be sure you always keep your personal brand in perspective. Win or fail, if you stay true to yourself you have succeeded,” she says.

In the future the Black Murfreesboro group would like to have more events on an even larger scale. They are looking to create a membership site for people who would like to be supporters and are aligned with the mission of Black Murfreesboro. “We are excited to meet the challenge of promoting Black Culture Connected!”, they shared.

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