The Southern Heritage Classic weekend is a long standing tradition that has evolved in its offerings around one of the most anticipated rivalry games between two Historically Black Colleges and Universities. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Southern Heritage Classic parade that processes down Park Avenue in Orange Mound flanked by streams of cookout smoke, bubbles and flying candy.
Elite Starz of Nashville make their way down the parade route.
On the sidewalks, watching and reacting to the bass lines and drum lines, are generations of folks who consider this event home. The parade is also a home to fans who travel to watch the annual faceoff between Jackson State University and Tennessee State University. But more importantly, in the parade’s 17th year, the event is a time where Orange Mound residents participate through marching, being with family or setting up food stands in their front yards.
DeAngelo Leachman, a boxer with the Memphis Police Boxing Gym, pauses for a photo of the Orange Mound tattoo across his torso.
Doors of churches, businesses and homes are opened to people who want to have a good time while watching the one mile-long stretch of their neighborhood pulse with energy for about three hours the second Saturday of September.
Members of the Stop The Violence squad roll down Park Avenue.
The faces and moments along the route help inform a portrait of a community. To relive the parade, expand the slideshow and click through.