Memphis is a city of innovation and has reinvented itself time and time again. It has faced tremendous existential threats -- yellow fever, the Memphis Massacre, lynching, the Marting Luther King Jr assassination -- that would have devastated any other place. Yet, each time the city finds a way to turn the corner and order up a makeover. The inventions born from the struggles faced by everyday Memphians have changed the world. Memphis birthed the first grocery store (Piggly Wiggly), hotel chain (Holiday Inn), overnight shipping (FedEx), Rock N' Roll recording, the 'I Am A Man' march, and more. Memphis deserves a birthday. Birthdays are celebrations of history, progress, challenge, growth. As the chapters in this volume suggest, our community has had all that and more.
Memphis: 200 Years Together does what no other single book has ever accomplished bringing together the best local writers and scholars to cover the breadth and depth of Memphis history, politics, culture, business, music, food, religion, sports, and art. From the Chickasaw Indians, the Civil War, and the yellow fever epidemic to the civil rights movement, blues to hip hop, and even a foray into barbeque and basketball, Memphis: 200 Years Together chronicles the triumphs and tragedies from the founding of Memphis to the present.
Rather than one unbroken narrative, this is a collection of key stopping points on the journey to Memphis' bicentennial celebration. Like Maysey Craddock's beautiful artwork on the cover, a thousand rivers 1, a visual celebration inspired by the Mississippi River, the stories in this volume flow across the Memphis landscape, taking readers on a deep-dive to explore where we have been over the past 200 years, what it has meant, and how it has shaped this community.
About the Author
Jonathan Judaken is the Spence L. Wilson Chair in the Humanities at Rhodes College. He is a historian of ideas whose work focuses on race and racism and Jews and Judaism. The author, editor, or co-editor of five books and more than fifty articles, he hosted "Counterpoint," a monthly interview show on WKNO-FM, NPR for the Mid-South, where he now does a weekly segment, "Spotlight on Lifelong Learning."Karen B. Golightly is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. She holds an MFA in fiction and a PhD in nineteenth-century British and Irish literature. She is the director of Fresh Reads, Memphis Reads, and Paint Memphis as well as the author of the novel, There Are Things I Know.Best known for her visceral gouache paintings of ephemeral landscapes, Maysey Craddock examines the dualities and mysteries of nature and those relationships to space and time. Through saturated earth tones and translucent elemental layers, she depicts the spaces in between, the interactions of nature and architecture, and what happens beyond the grasp of human control. Her scenes are dense and fluid, with trees, rivers, and roots figuring prominently as metaphors of the eternal cycles of death and rebirth, and the inevitability of entropy. Molly Caldwell Crosby is the national bestselling author of Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries and The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History, which has been nominated for several awards. Crosby holds a master's degree in nonfiction and science writing from Johns Hopkins University and previously worked for National Geographic magazine. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, Health, and USA Today, among others. Shelby Foote was an American historian and novelist. The author of six novels, he is best remembered for his three-volume history The Civil War: A Narrative, which took twenty years to complete and resulted in his being a featured expert in Ken Burns' acclaimed PBS documentary, The Civil War. Over the course of his career, Foote was also awarded three Guggenheim fellowships.