Hanging in the Hood aims to turn a negative into a positive

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Hundreds of people in Memphis' Hollywood neighborhood turned out for the third annual "Hanging in the Hood"--a festival designed to challenge stereotypes and promote a stronger community.

When most people hear the phrase "hanging in the hood," they probably don't picture anything like this--children dancing and playing, and adults cooking enough to serve the whole neighborhood.

"Normally when you hear somebody say they're hanging in the hood, honestly, what's the first thing you think? It's going to be something negative going on," Cynthia Lofties Thompson, organizer, said. "I want to change that and make it into a positive phrase instead of a negative one."

So for the third year, Cynthia--with the help of a few coworkers and friends--rolled up her sleeves and got to work organizing the event.

"I just wanted to do something to give back I grew up in Hollywood., so over the years, we had a community, and I don't see the same community we had growing up," she said.

The festival attracted hundreds of people--from neighborhood kids to Memphis police officers.

"This is my second time coming to the event and it's really, really nice for the kids," Sherrie Renee Austin said.

She grew up in the neighborhood, and still lives there. She brought her grandkids.

"Cynthia is very nice. I grew up with Cynthia on Norman Street. And I'm glad she did this event for everybody out here in the neighborhood." Sherrie said.

And she's already inspired others, like her nephew, Marqavius.

"She is a very helpful person. She's got a big heart," he said.

A big heart focused on turning negatives into positives.

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