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Memphis is a city of innovation, Memphis has reinvented itself time and time again through the years. It has faced down tremendous existential threats — yellow fever, the Memphis Massacre, lynching, the King 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.

Table of Contents: Introduction (Karen Golightly/Jonathan Judaken); Founding Memphis (Janann Sherma/Beverly G. Bond); The Battle for Memphis (Shelby Foote); The Civil War and its Legacy in Memphis (Timothy S. Huebner); A Massacre in Memphis (Stephen V. Ash); A City of Corpses: Yellow Fever in Memphis (Molly Caldwell Crosby); Creativity and Exploitation: A History of the Memphis Economy (G. Wayne Dowdy); Memphis Sounds: How Music Shaped Our City and Changed the World (Charles L. Hughes); The South’s Moveable Feast: Food in Memphis (Jennifer Biggs); A Brief History of Religion in Memphis (David Waters); The Hooks Brothers of Memphis: Artist-Photographers of the “New Negro” Movement in the Urban South (Earnestine Jenkins); Memphis Burning (Preston Lauterbach); Protest, Politics, and Paradox: The Black Freedom Struggle in Memphis (Aram Goudsouzian); Beauty and Bitterness: Two Centuries of Memphis Education (Daniel Kiel); The Tigers, the Grizzlies, and the City We Wish to Be (Geoff Calkins); Real Museums of Memphis (Zandria F. Robinson)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733634106
Publisher: Susan Schadt Press
Publication date: 06/17/2019
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 234,199
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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. 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 one 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. He was born on November 7, 1916 in Greenville, Mississippi, and attended school there until he entered the University of North Carolina. In 1953 he moved to Memphis, where he lived for the remainder of his life.
Foote was the author of six novels: Tournament, Follow Me Down, Love in a Dry Season, Shiloh, Jordan County, and September, September. He is best remembered for his 3-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 writing career, Foote was also awarded three Guggenheim fellowships. Shelby Foote died in 2005 at the age of 88.

Table of Contents

• Introduction by Karen Golightly and Jonathan Judaken

• Memphis Founding (Jan Sherman and Beverly Bond from Memphis in Black and White, 7-27)

• The Battle of Memphis (Shelby Foote)

• Civil War (Tim Huebner)

• Memphis Massacre (Steven Ash)

• Yellow Fever (Molly Crosby)

• Food (Jennifer Biggs)

• Visual Culture (Earnestine Jenkins)

• Memphis and the Literary Imagination (Ladrica Menson-Furr)

• Music (Charles Hughes)

• Religion (Andre Johnson; David Waters)

• “Memphis Burning” by Preston Lauterbach

• Freedom Struggle in Memphis (Aram Goudsouzian)

• Business (Wayne Dowdy)

• Sports (Geoff Calkins)

• Education (Daniel Kiel)

• Zandria Robinson, “Real museums of Memphis”

What People are Saying About This

Joe Birch/ News Anchor

“If you love Memphis, you’ll find kindred spirits in these pages. Those who truly love our city ultimately come to the conclusion that radical kinship is the only viable path forward for the Memphis of the present and future. The writers collected in this splendid anthology unite our history: struggles, joys, celebrations and tragedies. We’re Memphis: 200 Years Together and the writers represented in this book know from bitter experience and joyous unity that ‘together’ is the only viable passageway forward for Memphis.”

Jim Strickland

“Memphis is a city that has changed the world. As we turn 200, we will continue to be the city where originality and soul come together to create positive change. Blues and rock-and-roll were born in Memphis. The best treatments to cure childhood cancer happen in this city. And those who marched for human dignity in 1968 were an example for those who seek civil rights throughout our nation and the world. The I AM A MAN legacy is an iconic and simple truth: Human dignity is for all human beings. It’s a message born from the streets of this city – a message and a moment that changed the world, as the wonderful essays in this book bring to life.”

Valerie June

“Throughout Southern American history the division of races and cultures has been noted for its struggles, sadness, and pain. Memphis: 200 Years Together acknowledges the need for healing from our past, but it also shines a light on the hidden unity that is the best kept secret of our dusty, old river town. It is a unity that has always been found through the universal language of music, and it’s thrilling to explore how our underlying connections rise above racial and cultural divisions and have helped to shape every genre of American music.”

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