Family plays at Tom Lee Park near the Mississippi River.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> As part of the Brooks Outing project, artist Julien de Casabianca pasted "characters" from earlier artworks in suprising places across Memphis. This snippet of "Au pied de la falaise" can be seen on Crump Boulevard. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Heights resident Ethel McBride drives to work in front of a community mural near Treadwell Elementary and Middle School grounds.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Members of the Real South Wrestling Federation demonstrate their skills to a packed house. <span class='image-credits'>Brandon Dahlberg</span> Explore Bike Share cyclists set out along Keel Avenue.  <span class='image-credits'>Brandon Dahlberg</span> Tes Herman, left, and her cousin Leslie Herman look at a book of Freida Hamm paintings at Novel bookstore in East Memphis. <span class='image-credits'>Brandon Dill</span> Summer Avenue in September.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Construction takes place at the former Wonder Bread factory at 400 Monroe Avenue. (Brandon Dill) <span class='image-credits'></span> A nighttime view of the I Am A Man plaza outside of Clayborn Temple, near Downtown Memphis.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Visitors to Hattie B's Hot Chicken restaurant in Midtown.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Memphians play a game of sand volleyball around sunset at Tom Lee Park. <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> A message from Summer Avenue. (Brandon Dahlberg) <span class='image-credits'></span>
Hey from High Ground News!
We believe that Memphis deserves sidewalk-level journalism that covers neighborhoods with nuance and centers the experience of residents. We seek to rebalance the news so that Memphians are exposed to stories that help them wrap around the city's challenges and better understand that there are people in every neighborhood across the city innovating for solutions.


Feature StoryEarly arrivals mingle at United Way of the Mid-South's 2018 Feast of Dreams. (Demarcus Bowser)

Breaking bread: Applied anthropology meets local journalism

On November 8, United Way held its Feast of Dreams to unite community leaders in a conversation on poverty reduction. High Ground sent its resident anthropologist with a question — can Unite Way inspire lasting, citywide change in just one night?

Feature StoryHomeowners  Mike and Nyasha Daniels in their Frayser home, which they purchased from the Frayser Community Development Corporation in 2018. (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian)

Frayser CDC gives residents keys to homes, neighborhood and city

In 2017, 90 percent of Frayser home purchases were from landlords or investors, most out of state. Frayser CDC's new Home Ownership Campaign is reversing that trend by helping residents buy homes for half the cost of renting.

Feature StoryCrystal Bergman is the operations manager for Memphis-based Madison Line Records. (Submitted)

Crystal Bergman takes lead at Madison Line Records, takes on gender bias in music industry

Crystal Bergman has spent a lifetime making music and seen her share of gender-bias in the industry. As Madison Line Records' new operations manager she's using what she's learned to cultivate the next generation of tough and talented female performers. 

Feature StoryDwayne "DJ" Johnson's assistant welds security bars for a client at Johnson's shop at 2992 Summer Avenue (Ziggy Mack)

Last of the craft: The twilight of Summer Avenue's artisan culture

Since the 1800s Summer Avenue has been a place for artisans and mom-and-pop shops. Today, many of its master crafters are past retirement age, and there’s a need for new blood to continue the tradition of handmade hustle. 

Feature StoryMayor Jim Strickland designated Oct. 14 as “Kindred Community Day” to kick off the rebranding of The Exchange Club Family Center. (Kindred Place)

Kindred Place: New name, renewed mission to reduce violence

After a year-and-a-half-long planning process, the Exchange Club has rebranded as Kindred Place, which better reflects the 35-year-old organization’s evolving focus on family support.

Feature StoryWith the Memphis College of Art closing in 2020, the future of its main building, Rust Hall, is up in the air.

Local arts organizers make a bid to take over Memphis College of Art's Rust Hall

With the Memphis College of Art’s May 2020 closure approaching, the fate of the school’s main building in Overton Park is up in the air. Local arts entrepreneurs are taking steps to secure Rust Hall and remake the eye-catching mid-century space into a mixed-use facility for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

Feature StoryA customer looks around the store as he speaks with the owner of the Summer Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)

In photos: Memphis gets thrifty on Summer Avenue

For decades Summer Avenue in The Heights has been a destination location for Memphis' frugal shoppers. Photographer Natalie Eddings explores the chaotic beauty of Summer's most popular thrift stores. 

Feature StoryPhoto show flyyer

Join the On The Ground team for "Great Heights: National Street & Beyond in Photographs"

As our four-month embedded engagement in The Heights area of Memphis draws to a close, we're celebrating the residents who shared their stories with a one-night-only photo exhibition.

Feature StoryLayne Carden was inspired to open TransforMama, a play and co-work space for parents, based on her own postpartum experience.

A community center for new parents offers fitness classes, playgroups and coworking

Inspired by her own postpartum struggles, entrepreneur Layne Carden launched TransforMama to offer new parents resources and community support.

Feature StoryOne of two proposed playground designs for the new L.E. Brown Park in South City. (City of Memphis, Division of Parks and Neighborhoods)

City plans to resurrect L.E. Brown Park as part of South City development

Generations of Cleaborn Homes residents remember L. E. Brown Park, and now a $700,000 investment will ensure future generations of South City neighbors can enjoy the park and public pool. 

Feature StorySummer Avenue near National Street has been an important corner for commerce since the late 1800s. (Andrew Breig)

Summer Avenue to rebrand as an international district

The Heights-Berclair stretch of Summer Avenue is just three miles long but it represents business owners from over 30 countries. Now it’s getting the recognition it deserves with a campaign to brand it as the Memphis’ first international district.

Feature StoryStudents socialize while enjoying a midday snack. (Cole Bradley)

Heights Boys and Girls Club earns national acclaim, trains Memphis musicians

The Heights’ Ira Samelson Jr. Club is the city’s top performing Boys and Girls Clubs, and it's receiving national recognition for its dynamic staff and state-of-the-art music studio that’s training Memphis’ next generation of music legends.

Feature StoryAs part of the Brooks Outing project, artist Julien de Casabianca pasted "characters" from earlier artworks in suprising places across Memphis. This snippet of "Au pied de la falaise" can be seen on Crump Boulevard. (Ziggy Mack)

Brooks Museum's mural project takes classic art to the streets of Memphis

The public art exhibit that crosses Memphis neighborhoods from Orange Mound to Frayser does more than anything before to break down the barriers between the Brooks Museum and the community it serves or, as even some fans might point out, underserves.

Feature StoryThe voters arrive at Glenview Community Center as part of JUICE Orange Mound's Roll to Poll community initiative on Oct 27. (Ziggy Mack)

Orange Mound 'Roll to the Poll' centers voter empowerment as Memphis debates suppression

The NAACP is focusing its legal power on Shelby County to ensure its citizens the right to vote on November 6. Leaders in Orange Mound join those efforts by creating positive experiences at the polls to ensure people exercise those rights.

Feature StoryA once-drab building, 751 National Street now has tables and chairs, interactive maps of the neighborhood, and flags denoting the many nationalities in The Heights. (Cole Bradley)

Neighborhood by design: Community design studio is space to imagine a new Heights

In September, Heights CDC purchased an old cabinet shop at 751 National Street for a new kind of community center where residents can actively redesign the surrounding street, neighborhood, and a proposed $3.5 million Heights Line bicycle-pedestrian path.

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On the Ground:
The Heights

Read the latest in our embedded 16-week community reporting series on The Heights area of Memphis. If you are a resident, join us for a weekly community newsroom.

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Memphis HustleRead More

Memphians are resilient. They set out to solve problems in their communities through innovation. In our Memphis Hustle series, we tell the stories of local entrepreneurs who are meeting challenges head-on and bringing forth grassroots economic development for the city. 

Featured Place

The HeightsRead More

The Heights is a collection of neighborhoods — Highland Heights, Mitchell Heights, Graham Heights, and others — located roughly between Tillman and Graham Streets to the east and west and Jackson and Summer Avenues to the north and south.

It's predominantly working class with modest ...


South City

South City is best known for the Foote Homes development, Memphis’ last public housing project. The $250 million South City revitalization aims to transform the 420-unit institution into mixed-income apartments and rental homes with an emphasis on safety,