South Memphis

Founded as an agricultural community, South Memphis was stable and close-knit until the 1950s when businesses and families began relocating to the suburbs. Ill-conceived “revitalization” in the 1980s leveled many early buildings and accelerated the decline. Today, it is one of the city’s most economically challenged but culturally rich neighborhoods. The Soulsville area attracts thousands of tourists each year while resident-led revitalization has steered recent investments towards an area farmers market as well as a childcare and family center. South Memphis is also home to numerous community gardens, LeMoyne Owen College, and the famous Four Way Grill.

Feature Story (Lisa Ferdinando, Wikimedia Commons)

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Feature Story Members of the new Comeback Stronger Youth Council, a partnership program of Memphis Public Libraries and BRIDGES USA, meet at the South Branch library. (Submitted)
Feature Story To the right, finished apartments built in the first two phases of the Foote Park at South City development are already being occupied while construction continues on phase three in the foreground. The project has six phases. (Ziggy Mack)

What is South City?


Feature Story Donald Jenkins, an Advance Memphis client and former staffer poses on a forklift. The nonprofit offers a forklift safety certification that helps its clients get higher-paying jobs. (Advance Memphis)
Feature Story Denise Oher sits on a neighbor's porch and looks out over the new Foote Park at South City development. Oher is a former Foote Homes resident who has chosen to return after being displaced for the demolition of Foote Homes. (Ziggy Mack)

Could Memphis' South City be the new gold standard for U.S. public housing?


Feature Story In Boxtown, two men sit on a horse-drawn carriage after collecting wood to warm their houses; 1960. After decades of industrial pollution, Byhalia Pipeline LLC wants to move crude oil under Boxtown. (University of Memphis Libraries, Ken Ross)
Feature Story memphis_minnie.jpg
Feature Story Archie "A.W." Willis, Jr. stands at center. Seated are members of the Memphis State Eight. These students were the first to integrate what is now the University of Memphis.

Black Memphis, Black History: The legacy of A.W. Willis


Feature Story Kenzie Cleaves stands inside a vacant unit in her North Memphis apartment complex that she said has been unsecured for over a year. Unsafe housing conditions can increase COVID-19-related deaths. (Ziggy Mack)

In poor communities, toxic housing is a risk factor for COVID-19 deaths


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