Va'Lory B. Jenkins, a resident of Cagle Mountain in Sequatchie County, Tenn., talks about feeling singled out for her skin color by others in the community./ Ben Benton. Times Free Press.
CAGLE MOUNTAIN, SEQUATCHIE COUNTY (Times Free Press) - The Jenkins family is like many of their neighbors in Sequatchie County: They're retired; they served in the U.S. armed forces; they moved from out of state to the Sequatchie Valley to enjoy a quiet life.
But because of their differences, the Jenkinses say they feel they have become the target of racial terrorism since moving to Cagle Mountain in 2005 — they're black, American-born Muslims from California who are new to the rural South, where blacks sometimes are still called "colored."
Va'Lory Jenkins, 58, said she can't understand why her family is drawing abuse from the community, most recently with vandals using what seems to be a sledgehammer to destroy their brick-based mailbox over the course of two nights.
But she said there also has been a note in their mailbox and shouted epithets from passers-by, both of which centered on the n-word.