Greater Memphis has 1.1 million residents, including 450,000 African Americans.
As a midpoint in the country, Memphis is one of the nation’s top air, rail and truck distribution centers.
FedEx, Holiday Inn, Piggly Wiggly and AutoZone headquarter in Memphis.
The city is even a major flyway for migrating birds.
Headquarters of America’s cotton belt since the days of slave plantations, Memphis remains the world’s largest spot market for cotton buyers and sellers.
Many older people are familiar with St Jude Children’s Hospital, due to the efforts of celebrity Danny Thomas TV ads. As a result, Memphis is one the top centers for child health care in the world.
Memphis enjoys the pen of novelist John Grisham and the eye of Hollywood. A dozen recent movies have featured Memphis in the storyline, including:
Silence of the Lambs
The bountiful dogwood trees everywhere remind you why the city has won the National City Beautiful Award five times.
A few of the famous former and current African American residents of Memphis:
Robert Church – South’s first Black millionaire
Dr J. E. Walker – Universal Life Insurance Company founder
Bishop Charles H. Mason – Founded Church of God in Christ
Ida B. Wells – Publisher, civil rights activist, founding member of NAACP
Mary Church Terrell- Civil rights activist, educator
W.C. Handy- Person most credited as the Father of the Blues
Aretha Franklin – Soul singer
Tom Lee – Local hero who rescued drowning swimmers
Nat D. Williams – Radio station DJ on WDIA radio station
Morgan Freeman – Actor
Al Green – Soul singer
Willie Mitchell – Soul singer and lyricist
Bobby “Blue” Bland – Blues singer
B.B. King – “Blues Boy King”, Blues singer & guitarist
Albert King – Blues singer & performer
Otis Redding – Soul singer
Isaac Hayes – Soul singer, writer & composer
The Bar-Kays – Soul singers
Sam & Dave – Sam Moore & Dave Prater – Soul singers
Rufus Thomas – Blues, Rock & Roll and Soul singer
Carla Thomas – Soul singer
Al Bell – Business Director of STAX Records
Wilson Pickett – Soul singer
Howlin’ Wolf – His real name is Chester Arthur, Blues singer
Ike & Tina Turner – Rock & Roll singers
W.S. Martin – Co-owner Memphis Red Sox Negro League Baseball team
Lois Deberry – 1st Female State Representative in Tennessee
Harold Ford, Sr. – 1st African American Congressman of his district
Penny Hardaway – NBA player featured in “Little Penny” Nike commercials