Jul 17, 2023 - News

Mysterious "Oprah" graffiti appears in East Nashville

Spray paint saying "Oprah"

"Oprah" graffiti in East Nashville. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

I was on an assignment last week in East Nashville, where I found the name "Oprah" was mysteriously spray-painted on several walls.

What happened next: During my drive home, I was surprised to see more Oprah graffiti.

  • An overpass on Ellington Parkway got Oprah'd.
  • An empty building on Gallatin Pike got Oprah'd.
  • I think it's an ironclad journalistic rule that three of anything equals a trend.
"Trnch" and "Oprah" graffiti in East Nashville. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

I texted friends, sources and even the two East Nashville Metro Council representatives to see if they, too, had noticed Oprah being tagged all over their neighborhood.

  • Metro Councilmember Sean Parker had noticed a few, but he wasn't sure why. He reminded me that Oprah Winfrey, who has deep Nashville ties, attended nearby East High School.
  • Metro Councilmember Brett Withers had noticed, too. "I suppose it is better than 'moist!'" he texted, referencing an unpleasant recent graffiti trend.
  • "I've noticed it so many places!" my friend Jordan, who lives on the East side, told me. "Abandoned lots, electrical boxes and random pockets in Cleveland Park. I first noticed it when Oprah was in town back in May to give a commencement speech at TSU."
"Oprah" graffiti in East Nashville. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

I found "Oprah" on a Nashville Electric Service box on Eastland Avenue, on a utility pole near Black Shag Vintage on Gallatin, on a dumpster behind Jet's Pizza near Publix. These seven locations are just scratching the surface.

  • Other words spray-painted more than once in East Nashville include "trnch" and "Creepy Julie."
"Oprah" graffiti in East Nashville. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

📪 If you have any insight into this Oprah trend, or if you happen to be Creepy Julie, email us.

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