Memphis Heritage Trail Introduces Curriculum On Memphis History

Pilot Program Tested at Kirby High School

 The Memphis Heritage Trail (MHT) is rolling out a pilot educational curriculum this summer featuring the historical locations on the trail. The curriculum’s pilot was tested to entering freshman at Kirby High School’s Summer Institute June 6-9, 2017.

After the pilot is completed and reviewed, plans are in the works for it to be available to Shelby County School teachers this fall. The curriculum roll out will coincide with a MHT smartphone app that will be launched in conjunction with the 50th commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. death, April 2018.

“This is a wonderful accompaniment to the trail,” said Felicia Harris, manager of Planning and Development for the City of Memphis. “This curriculum will teach the youth in our city about our historic people, events and places, and the trail will allow them to see first-hand where history took place. I must thank MHT volunteer Lauren Barksdale, who developed the curriculum, for all of the work she has put into it.” Ms. Barksdale is a history teacher at Kirby High School.

The curriculum, for grades K-12, is broken into four units based on aspects of Memphis heritage and creative devices such as writing, art, graphic design and music. It focuses on figures and events in Memphis history such as Robert Church and the Church legacy, the all-black military units who fought during the Civil War (Fort Pickering) and the legacy of Beale Street.

“We wanted to base the curriculum around what makes up the city’s heritage,” said Barksdale. “There’s no way to tell the story of the city without mentioning the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War, and our cultural gems. However, we wanted to include lesser

known narratives that make up our heritage that give a full scope of this city’s beauty.”

The MHT is a historic 20-block redevelopment area in downtown Memphis. The project has been in the works since 2008 and includes the area bordered by Beale Street on the north, Main Street on the west, Crump Boulevard on the south and Manassas Street on the east. Buildings within the area are: Clayborn Temple, Mason Temple, Universal Life Building and the National Civil Rights Museum. It is considered the epicenter of African-American history, heritage and culture and will include a walking trail with historical markers.

About MHT

Memphis Heritage Trail is an expansive plan to celebrate the rich business, culture and musical heritage of African-American achievements in Memphis. The project brings historical tourism, urban redevelopment and city-wide pride to important public spaces. The borders are Beale Street, Main Street, Crump Boulevard and Manassas Street. More information is available at http://memphisheritagetrail.com/.

 

Professor Melissa Harris-Perry and former Congressman Harold ford jr. are Guest speakers For NAACP Memphis branch Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon celebration

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Memphis Branch announces Professor Melissa Harris-Perry and former Tennessee U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. as speakers at the Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon Celebration. The luncheon themed, “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy,” will take place on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Memphis Hilton at 11:30 a.m.

Professor Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelo Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University and the Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. She hosted the award winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on weekend mornings on MSNBC. Harris-Perry recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on “How to Save the N.A.A.C.P From Irrelevance”.

Congressman Ford is coming home to give the charge for the next 100 years of grassroots advocacy. Elected to Congress at the age of 26, Ford served on the House Budget, Education and Financial Services Committees. He now lives in New York with his wife and family and lectures part-time at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and is a political analyst for MSNBC and CNBC.

“We are thrilled to have them both as speakers for our largest fundraiser for the year,” said Deidre Malone, President, NAACP Memphis Branch. “Melissa Harris-Perry and Harold Ford, Jr. are a combination Mid-Southerners will not want to miss.”

Gale Jones Carson is the Chair for the Centennial Celebration and Secretary for the Memphis Branch. “We have been focused on raising funds to support the local branch’s programs and have created a Centennial Celebration that pays tribute to the past, but is focused on our future,” said Carson.

“Our Co-Chairs FedEx Chief Diversity Officer Shannon Brown, Civil Rights Activist and Mediator Jocelyn D. Wurzburg and CN Railroad Executive Roquita Coleman-Williams are working hard to ensure the success of our event.”

Our major sponsors are FedEx, AutoZone, Durham Bus Services, Methodist Healthcare, Regional One Health, and Baptist Healthcare.

Tickets for the luncheon start at $100 and can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naacp-memphis-branch-centennial-freedom-fund-luncheon-celebration-2017-tickets-34254484084. For more information about the event contact the Memphis Branch NAACP at 901-521-1343 or visit their website at www.memphisnaacp.org.

About the NAACP Memphis Branch

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The Memphis Branch is the largest branch in the organization.

CO-Chairs named for NAACP Memphis branch Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Memphis Branch has named Shannon Brown, Jocelyn Wurzburg and Roquita Coleman-Williams as co-chairs for its Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon. The luncheon themed, “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy,” will take place on June 24, 2017 at the Memphis Hilton.

“This is going to be an exciting and meaningful event for all who have supported the NAACP through the last one hundred years,” said Deidre Malone, Branch President. “This is a time to celebrate all that has been accomplished as a community and a time to reflect on the work that is still needed to get our community to a place of true equality. Our co-chairs, sponsors and our theme reflect the hope that we have for the next 100 years.”

Brown is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer for FedEx Express. With more than 35 years of experience at FedEx Express, he is the most senior human resources executive and oversees their workforce of more than 100,000 employees. Brown has been named to Black Enterprise magazine’s lists of “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” and “Top Executives in Corporate Diversity,” as well as Savoy magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Executives in Corporate America.”

Wurzburg is a long-time civic and political activist in Memphis, and she founded the Memphis Panel of American Women. In 1972, she was appointed by Gov. Winfield Dunn to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission and to the International Women’s Year Commission by President Gerald Ford. Wurzburg is the former President of the Memphis Bar Association Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections. Gov. Phil Bredesen re-appointed her to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission in 2007.

Coleman-Williams has spent her lifetime in the transportation industry. She currently serves on the Department of Transportation Federal Advisory Board and the Memphis Area Transit Authority Board of Commissioners. She also has been awarded “Top 40 under 40,” Memphis Business Journal “Super Women in Business,” Rising Stars of North American Railroads and in 2011 she was the 63rd president and first African-American to serve as president of the Memphis World Trade Club.

Tickets for the luncheon start at $100 and can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naacp-memphis-branch-centennial-freedom-fund-luncheon-celebration-2017-tickets-34254484084. For more information about the event contact the Memphis Branch NAACP at 901-521-1343 or visit their website at www.memphisnaacp.org.

 

About the NAACP Memphis Branch

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The Memphis Branch is the largest branch in the organization.