Stories

Feature StoryThe burial site of Harry Madison, one of two headstones in the Madison-Eckles Cemetery Park that is still legible. (Ziggy Mack)

University District partnership transforms neglected cemetery into tranquil park

Normal Station residents have partnered with the University of Memphis to transform a historic but long-neglected family cemetery into a peaceful neighborhood greenspace.

Feature StoryA lunch plate at Kountry Kitchen located at 1128 Winchester Road. Kountry Kitchen is one of the ten businesses participating in the Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week. (Submitted)

Whitehaven celebrates MLK legacy with Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week

“Integration was definitely about access — not just schools and communities, it was also access with our dollars,” said Pearl Walker of I Love Whitehaven on MLK’s legacy of economic justice. Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week runs January 19-26.

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On The Ground Podcast: Homeownership in Memphis neighborhoods

In S1E4, High Ground News publisher Emily Trenholm welcomes Steve Lockwood from Frayser CDC and Amy Schaftlein from United Housing to discuss why homeownership is so important to stabilizing Memphis neighborhoods and what strategies community development organizations are using to turn longtime renters into homeowners. 

Feature StoryArtist Brantley Ellzey in workspace, as part of "Memphis Studios: A Visual Tour." (Murray Riss)

Making space: New book is a visual tour of the workspaces of Memphis' top artists

"Memphis Studios: A Visual Tour," a newly published book, details the diverse nooks and crannies that Memphis artists have claimed as home.

Feature StoryAt Tiger Bookstore, Tigers branded merchandise accounts for 40 percent of gross sales. (Cole Bradley)

Married to the game: When Tigers score, Memphis small business wins

“If people feel good about the university, they want to show off. You want to wear that hoodie or have that decal on your car," said Jeremy Stinson, general manager of Tiger Bookstore. 

Feature StoryFabrics with vibrant patterns for sale at African Kingdom at Park Avenue and Getwell Road. (Submitted)

African Kingdom brings West African style to University District

Jainaba Johnson started her first business in her native country of The Gambia at 16 years old. Now 53, she's recently opened her third Memphis-based, family-run shop for African goods and hair styling.

Feature StoryGuests discuss a set of photographs at The CMPLX grand opening. (Shelda Edwards)

The CMPLX opens to packed house in Orange Mound

The January 11 grand opening of The CMPLX in Orange Mound was shoulder to shoulder. Organizers hope the gallery and studio space operated by and for Black artists will help inspire the next Harlem Renaissance right here in Memphis. 

Feature StoryA diverse group of students hold a pose at Yolandrea Clark's Any Body Yoga studio in Midtown Memphis. (Shelby Black)

New year, new you, new body-positive yoga studio opens in Memphis

Looking to get fit and de-stress this year in a body-positive space? On Jan 1, local yoga legend Yolandrea Clark launched a body and ability-inclusive studio that's got you covered. 

Feature StoryA customer points to the menu with a question and Tavias Ford answers with a smile at Vivian's Down Home Cooking in Binghampton. (Taylor Moore)

Former banker has big plans for Binghampton restaurant serving down home meals

In August 2018, Tavias Ford left banking to launch a restaurant named for his late grandmother, Vivian. It's a simple model — down home food served with a friendly smile — but he has big plans to put his Binghampton restaurant on the map.   

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In photos: Welcome to the University District

As we kick off three months of On the Ground reporting in the University District, photographer Ziggy Mack explores the visual vibe of this growing, center-city neighborhood. 

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Coffee and community journalism: On the Ground in the University District

We're kicking off our embedded reporting in the University District with a look at its past, current state and our new community news room location — The Belltower Artisans. 

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On the Ground Podcast: Kicking off our University District coverage with Cody Fletcher

In S1E3, we kick off three months of embedded reporting with a conversation on the unique features, strengthens, and challenges of the University District. 

Feature StoryAumilli’on Kimble, a 16-year-old junior at Bartlett High School, won the floor pitch for her "Heat Keep" food warming pouches. She's already had one employer express interest in hiring her when she graduates. (Submitted)

Special education support & lunchbox warmers: High school students pitch product ideas to meet needs

As part of their participation in LITE Memphis, an entrepreneurship support program targeted at minority high school students, 35 potential startup founders pitched their ideas on December 6 to an audience of funders and supporters. 

Feature StoryMagaly Cruz (L) and Joni Laney on the porch of a property that was previously blighted. The land trust worked with Neighborhood Preservation Inc. to report the house to Code Enforcement and within one month it was in compliance. (Ziggy Mack)

Bing-Boom III: A land trust seeks to preserve housing affordability in booming Binghampton

Wealthier white Memphians began moving to Binghampton out of a desire to be around diversity and to help improve a disadvantaged community. Now, they fear they've turned the tide as major real estate developments are emerging. Old and new residents are banding together to preserve affordable housing by establishing a Binghampton land trust.

Feature StoryPlayback Memphis ensemble members act out a student’s day at Dexter Elementary. (Cole Bradley)

Playback Memphis partners with Le Bonheur and SCS to reduce bullying and teen pregnancy

Talking with teens about safer sex and healthy relationships isn’t easy, but a partnership between Playback Memphis, Le Bonheur and Shelby County Schools is taking a new approach that uses improvisational theater. 


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On The Ground Podcast: Black-owned business gift guide, with Cynthia Daniels and Brandi Hunter

In S1E2 of the On The Ground podcast, High Ground News contributors Brandi Hunter and Emily Trenholm discuss with entrepreneur Cynthia Daniels great holiday gift options from local Black-owned businesses and the growing infrastructure to support minority entrepreneurs.

Feature StoryPastor Shun Abram in front of Binghampton Community Church, located in east Binghampton. (Ziggy Mack)

Bing-Boom II: A tale of two Binghamptons

Once one of the city's most distressed neighborhoods, the west side of Binghampton is now one of its hottest properties. Can the east side follow suit? And should it?

Feature StoryArtist Khara Woods (Submitted)

Art installations in Frayser, Orange Mound & Uptown to be designed by community members

Three Memphis neighborhoods — Frayser, Uptown and Orange Mound — are set to be the recipients of art installations that will add vibrancy and livability to the communities, as well as inform and unite residents around solutions to lingering environmental issues, like dumping and littering.


Feature StoryNew homes on Autumn Avenue and Circle Drive are selling in the $300,000 to $350,0000 range, which are some of the highest property values in the area. (Ziggy Mack)

Bing-Boom I: The consequences of progress in Binghampton

After years of revitalization efforts in Binghampton and several multi-million dollar projects in the works, gentrification is now a fast-growing concern. Our three part series explores the state of housing in Binghampton and community efforts to encourage development without displacement. 

Feature StoryLisa and Luis Toro pose outside of their newest purchase, 509 North Hollywood, which will soon be a unique indoor-outdoor bar. (Cole Bradley)

Broad Avenue power couple expand reach with new bar venture

Lisa and Luis Toro opened their first business on Broad Avenue four years ago. Next spring they'll open their third business a bit off of Broad Avenue, and they've learned a lot about entrepreneurship along the way. 

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