Klondike Smokey City

Kids clear an empty lot of branches and other debris. Folks from the community organization Crowning Our Youth, Inc. an anti-violence and youth oriented group, worked to clean up vacant lots along Randle Street in Klondike.

Video: North Memphis community gardens turn blight into bountyRead Article

The Klondike Smokey City CDC community garden in Memhis sows seeds for a neighborhood less burdened by blighted empty lots.
Pastor Eddie Brooks wipes his brow during the sermon at Pillar of Jerusalem church in Smokey City.

As Klondike Smokey City shrinks, churches remain constantRead Article

In a declining neighborhood with high population turnover, churches aspire to be anchors in Klondike Smokey City.
 Ebony Parker, 18, leaps during a dress rehearsal at the Dave Wells Community Center in Smokey City.

Smoky City Bar-B-Que fires up opportunity in North MemphisRead Article

It’s been said that the Smokey City got its name from the active smokestacks of blacksmiths in the area. While industry left the North Memphis neighborhood decades ago, smoke has returned with the opening of a new restaurant, which is a rare site in the area.

In photos: North Memphis students honor thread of royalty from African queens to kings of pop musicRead Article

Energy was high in the auditorium at Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School on Friday afternoon. Students at the school, located along Manassas Street on Smokey City’s western edge, spent their February taking their lessons from Black History Month and turning it into a three-act performance.
Crystal Shields and her daughter Danielle stand for a portrait after having picked daffodils while walking down Jackson Avenue. The family lives in Klondike.

Prosperity and decline shape Klondike Smokey City's historyRead Article

Klondike Smokey City’s history tells a story of prosperity but also one of decline with shuttered factories, white flight and racial segregation at its core. 

Is SPARCC the start of North Memphis opportunity?Read Article

Is $1 million enough to turn around the decades of disinvestment and decline that have plagued North Memphis? 
 Michael Harris gets a shave from Eric Steward, owner of the Handy Spot on Vollintine Avenue in Klondike. "You can pretty much fall asleep in the chair if you trust your barber," Steward said.
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Klondike and Smokey City are two of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in North Memphis. Numerous civil rights leaders have called the area home, including two of the Memphis 13, the first children to integrate Memphis public schools. Tom Lee, the African-American man who rescued 32 people from a sinking steamship in 1925 near the park that now bares his name, was awarded a house in Klondike for his heroism. Today, the neighborhoods struggle with disinvestment and high vacancy rates but continue their legacy of civic involvement with community gardens, CDCs, and grassroots organizations.

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Feature StoryJason Ayers high fives one of the kids that came out to help clean up empty lots along Randle Street in Klondike. Folks from the community organization Crowning Our Youth, Inc. an anti-violence and youth oriented group, worked to clean up vacant lots

Reflections on Klondike Smokey City

Feature StoryKSC

Video: North Memphis community gardens turn blight into bounty


Read more articles by Lance Wiedower.

Lance is a veteran journalist with more than 16 years of experience in newsrooms in the Memphis area as a reporter and editor, including most recently as managing editor of The Daily News. He regularly contributes to The Daily News, including a biweekly travel column, The Daily Traveler. 

Read more articles by Andrea Morales.

Andrea Morales is a documentary photographer based in Memphis. Born in Lima, Peru, she grew up in Miami, earned a B.S. in journalism from the University of Florida and an M.A. in photography from Ohio University. Working for different newspapers moved her to cities and newsrooms of all size, including the El Sentinel in South Florida, the Lima News in NW Ohio and The New York Times in NYC. Most recently, she was on staff as a photographer at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire, where she covered barn dances, ox pulls and presidential elections, all with equal joy.

Read more articles by Lauren Squires-Ready.

Forever Ready Productions is based in Memphis. It specializes in fast paced, timely content for non profits, small businesses and start-ups. The production company's founder, Lauren Squires Ready, has more than a decade of award-winning video journalism experience and uses that skill to help create an impact narrative for any mission driven organization. Visit www.foreverreadyllc.com for more information.    

Read more articles by Thelma Balfour.

Thelma Balfour has been a freelance writer for USA Today and Newsweek. She also worked as a reporter for The Commercial Appeal, the daily newspaper in Memphis. She is the author of two books, Black Sun Signs: An African American Guide to the Zodiac and Black Love Signs.