All Cultural Places

All Cultural Places

All Cultural Places

Welcome to our list of African-American cultural places in the Greater Memphis Area. There are two types of places: locations and sites. A location has hours of operations (e.g. museums). A site does not have hours of operations (e.g. historical markers). Our list is searchable. Also there is a map view provided below the list.

While we try to keep information up to date, we cannot guarantee it; please check with places or a travel agency for the most up to date information. Also note, some places are on or near areas restricted to the public; when such is the case, please do not trespass or violate any laws.

NameTaglinePlace TypeAddress: Website: Description:
Aretha Franklin BirthplaceQueen of Soul Site406 Lucy Ave., Memphis, TN 38106Visit WebsiteThis home, near the Stax Museum, is the home (shotgun style) where Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis. The South Memphis Renewal Community Corp. is working on saving the house.
Davies Manor Plantation23 African Americans EnslavedLocation9336 E Davies Plantation Rd, Memphis, TN 38133 Visit WebsiteDavis Minor is the oldest extant home in Shelby County. There were 23 enslaved African who lived on the property prior to the Civil War.
Clayborn Temple1300 Black Men went on strike to protest unclean and unsafe working conditionsLocation294 Hernando St, Memphis, TN 38126Visit WebsiteThis place was originally Second Presbyterian Church before they sold it to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in the 1940’s. Much of the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike was organized at this church. The sign “I Am A Man” was distributed at the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike when they started their march in 1968.
Elbert Williams Historical MarkerFirst NAACP Worker to Die in the Line of DutySite526 N Lafayette Ave Brownsville TN 38012Visit WebsiteElbert William was lynched in 1940 in Brownsville, Tennessee (Haywood County) and the first NAACP civil rights worker to be killed in the line of duty. A marker dedication and memorial service were held in 2015 on the 75 th Anniversary of his death.
Four Way RestaurantSoul FoodLocation998 Mississippi Blvd, Memphis, TN 38126Visit WebsiteMemphis’ oldest existing soul food restaurant was started in 1946 as the Four Way Grill. It has been an important social gathering place in the African American community where many famous people ate (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., Don King, Aretha Franklin, Jesse Jackson).
First Baptist Beale Street ChurchHistoricalLocation379 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103Visit WebsiteFirst brick church built in the South by African Americans for their worship service. Rev. Taylor Nightingale was the pastor and founded the Memphis Free Speech newspaper in 1888. Ida B. Wells used the basement to publish her newspaper. Thru her newspaper work, Wells publicized the Peoples Grocery lynchings, which lead to threats and acts of violence against her which forced her to leave Memphis. An historical marker is located close to the front of the church building
George W. Lee Historical MarkerLieutenant Lee of Beale StreetSite 35° 8.331′ N, 90° 2.638′ W. Visit WebsiteIn an era when African Americans were segregated to non-combat roles, George W. Lee was a World War I hero who saw active combat. A brilliant and hardworking businessman, he became a wealthy and active supporter of the Republican Party. He played an important role in the 1952 Republican National Convention.
Hill Crest CemeteryGrave Site of the First African-American US Senator, Hiram RevelsSite380 S Maury St, Holly Springs, MS 38635-3126Visit WebsiteDuring the US Civil War, Hiram Revels served as a chaplain and helped organize two regiments of Black Union soldiers. In 1870, Hiram Revels became the first African-American US Senator. He represented the state of Mississippi. In 1871, he became the first president of what is now called Alcorn State University.
Hunt-Phelan HomeCivil War Union Army HeadquartersLocation533 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103Visit WebsiteOne of the oldest mansions in the city where General Ulysses S. Grant planned the Battle of Vicksburg. It served as an office of the Freedman’s Bureau and a Freedman’s school was once located on the grounds.
James Meredith Civil Rights MonumentJames Meredith integrates the University of MississippiSiteUniversity Circle, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi 38677Visit WebsitePrior to 1962, no African-American had ever been admitted as a student to the University of Mississippi (i.e. Ole Miss). On October 1, 1962, James Meredith changed that.
Lee Sisters Historical MarkerThe Most Arrested Family in the Civil Rights MovementSiteSouth Main and Gayosso, Memphis, TNVisit WebsiteJet magazine called the Lee Sisters “the most arrested family of the Civil Rights Movement.” In 2017, a historical marker was erected at one of the locations where they were arrested for a sit-in. The sisters are Ernestine Lee Henning, Sandra Faye Lee Swift, Brenda Lee Turner, Elaine Lee Turner, Joan Lee Nelson, Peggy Jayne Lee, and Susan Carlotta Lee.
Mary Church Terrell Historical MarkerNAACP Co-FounderSite35° 8.341′ N, 90° 2.851′ WVisit WebsiteA co-founder of the NAACP, she was a daughter of Robert Church Sr., an advocate for woman’s suffrage, civil rights, and author the book A Colored Woman in a White World .
Memphis Massacre Historical MarkerFirst Major Event of ReconstructionSite35°07'58.2"N 90°03'23.9"W (Approx.)Visit Website46 African Americans and 2 Whites were killed in the massacre according to a Congressional Committee at the time. The massacre influenced passage of the 14th amendment (which guaranteed U.S. citizenship to African-Americans) and the Reconstruction Act.
R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral HomeFuneral Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Site374 Vance Ave  Memphis, TN 38126Visit WebsiteFounded in 1914, they prepared Martin Luther King Jr.’s body for burial after his assassination in 1968. Robert Lewis held a wake and memorial service that drew hundreds of people. Lewis provided a chauffeured limousine driver Solomon Jones (employee of the Lewis Funeral Home). A historical marker was dedicated in 2014 at the site.
Orange Mound Historical MarkerFirst African American NeighborhoodSite2572 Park Ave, Memphis, TN 38114Visit WebsiteOne of the oldest African American communities in Memphis, which was the former John George Deadrick Plantation. A marker was dedicated at the Orange Mound Community Service Center.
Peoples Grocery Lynching SiteIda B. Wells and the Lynching that Painfully Birthed the Field of Lynching StudiesSiteNear N. 2 nd St. and Waterworks Ave., Memphis, TN 38107 (Approx.); 35.169821, -90.043671 (Approx.)Visit WebsiteThe Peoples Grocery was a Black owned cooperative. In the morning of March 9 th , 1892, three Black men who owned and/or worked for the grocery, (namely Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Will Stewart) were lynched. Ida B. Wells and a large proportion of the Black community fled Memphis due to threats of death and violence. As a result of this lynching, Wells was driven to write Red Record and Southern Horrors , which were the first systematic attempt at conducting a census of lynchings in the US. In doing so, Wells created the field of lynching studies. The Peoples Grocery and the lynching site are in two different places. To find the lynching site, starting at the intersection of N. 2 nd St. and Waterworks Ave., go westbound on Waterworks Ave. for a short distance until it dead ends. The lynching site was to the west of this dead end.
Robert R. Church ParkFirst Black Millionaire LocationFourth/Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103Visit WebsiteThis place was established in 1899 by Memphis first Black Millionaire Robert Reed Church, Sr., since Blacks were excluded by the Jim Crow laws (segregation) from using White facilities. It had a large auditorium where the Lincoln League was organized and met to discuss about the Ell Persons lynching in 1917. Several events are held there annually, such as Africa in April, and Juneteenth.
Shiloh National Military ParkThe Most Deadly Battle in US History at the TimeLocation1055 Pittsburg Landing Road, Shiloh, TN 38376Visit WebsiteIn 1862, 1,754 Union soldiers died at Shiloh, one of the deadliest and most important battles of the US Civil War, which ended slavery. In 1934, 400 World War I Black veterans were sent to Shiloh to work in two Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) camps (Camp Young and Camp Corinth).
Solvent Savings Bank Historical MarkerFirst African American Bank in MemphisSite392 Beale Street , Memphis, TN 38103Visit WebsiteFirst African American bank in Memphis started in 1906 by Robert Church Sr.
Thomas Moss Gravesite and Zion CemeterySite1426 S Pkwy E, Memphis, TN 38106Visit WebsiteThe cemetery was established in 1876 by the United Sons of Zion (a Black fraternal and benevolent organization). It is the oldest African American cemetery in Memphis, and the burial place of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, Will Stewart, who were lynched in the Peoples Grocery lynchings. Numerous African American citizens are buried here.
Tragic Accident Sparks Sanitation Strike Historical MarkerDeaths of Echols Cole & Robert Walker lead to 1968 Sanitation StrikeSite35° 5.591′ N, 89° 54.194′ W Visit WebsiteTwo African American sanitation workers were crushed by their truck garbage barrel, while taking shelter out of the rain. This tragedy led to the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike where 1100 African American men went on strike in 1968.
WDIA Historical MarkerFirst All Black Format Radio Station in the USSite35° 8.587′ N, 90° 3.181′ WVisit WebsiteFirst radio station in the nation to have an all Black format, AM 1070 WDIA launched the careers of several artists, including BB King and Rufus Thomas.
WLOK Historical MarkerFirst African American Owned Radio Station in Memphis Site35° 8.146′ N, 90° 3.379′ WVisit WebsiteA gospel radio station, WLOK hosts the WLOK Stone Soul Picnic and the WLOK Black Film Festival.
LeMoyne-Owen CollegeHistorical Black College & University (HBCU)Location807 Walker Avenue, Memphis, TN 38126 Visit WebsiteIt was one of the churches (Lincoln Chapel) that was destroyed during the 1866 Massacre, but was rebuilt. Many of its students were involved in the sit-in movement.
Martyr ParkPark and sculptor pays tribute to yellow fever epidemic martyrs. Location35° 7.71′ N, 90° 4.224′ WVisit WebsiteDedicated to people who didn’t flee the yellow fever epidemic in 1878 in order to help those affected in the city.
Tom Lee ParkAfrican American Hero Saves 32 Lives Location35° 8.119′ N, 90° 3.882′ WVisit WebsiteLee saved the lives of 32 White passengers of the sinking steamboat M.E. Norman in 1925. The park was named in his honor in 1954 and a monument was erected in 2006
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor Center1968 Sanitation Workers StrikeSite485 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103 Visit WebsiteUnion negotiation between the Memphis Sanitation Workers and the City of Memphis (Mayor Henry Loeb) in 1968
Jesse H. Turner Freedom House - NAACP OfficeNAACPSite588 Vance Ave., Memphis, TN 38126Visit WebsiteCreated from a correspondence between Robert Church and James Weldon Johnson (NAACP Field Secretary) due to the lynching of Ell Person in 1917, the Memphis NAACP was the first chapter in Tennessee, and became the largest chapter in the South by 1919. Memphian Rev. Benjamin Hooks became a longtime Executive Director of the NAACP from the 1970s thru the 1990s.
Cornelia Crenshaw Library Black Memphis Library Location531 Vance Ave, Memphis, TN 38126Visit WebsiteNamed after community activist Cornelia Crenshaw, it was the only library in Memphis open to Blacks during the Jim Crow era.
Freedom School Bombing Historical MarkerThe Heavy Price of FreedomSite621 Jefferson Street / east of Hanna Avenue, Indianola MS 38751
Visit WebsiteFormer Baptist school in Indianola, MS that was the Freedom School for Civil Rights workers, which got firebombed in 1965
Union Troops of African Descent Historical MarkerUS Civil War, Battle of Moscow Site35° 3.599′ N, 89° 23.983′ WVisit WebsiteAfrican American Union soldiers (United States Colored Troop) were praised for their courageous acts against the Confederate cavalry during the Civil War (1863) in Fayette County, Tennessee
Elmwood CemeteryCemetery of Many Prominent African AmericansLocation824 S Dudley St, Memphis, TN 38104Visit WebsiteThe oldest active cemetery in Memphis, it was established in 1852. There is a Monument to the Slaves for 300 enslaved African-Americans buried in the cemetery. There is a mausoleum where Robert Church and his family are entombed. Benjamin Hooks, the longtime executive director of the NAACP, is also buried here.
African American International Museum FoundationOne of the most comprehensive African American history museums in the world Location1098 Firestone Avenue, Memphis, TN 38107 Visit WebsiteA place to learn about African American history. It sponsors various museums including African Artifacts, Slavery, Civil War, Medicine, Black Inventions, Civil Rights, Entertainment, Sports, and Education.
Alex Haley Museum & Interpretation CenterAlex Haley homeLocation 535 Haley Avenue, Henning, TN 38041Visit WebsiteOriginally the W.E. Palmer House was the boyhood home of Alex Haley in Henning, Tennessee. He heard stories of his ancestors on the front porch of this house which led him to write the book, Roots , which led to the television mini-series during 1970’s that galvanized interest in African-American families learning their ancestry. Haley also co-authored the Autobiography of Malcolm X . Haley is buried in the front lawn of the house.
BB King MuseumGravesite of the King of the BluesLocation 400 Second Street, Indianola, MS 38751 Visit WebsiteThe museum covers the extensive life of BB King, the most famous champion of the blues. His remains are at the museum.
Beale StreetThe Most Famous Street in African American HistoryLocation203 Beale Street, Suite 300, Memphis, TN 38103 Visit WebsiteBeale Street was the center of African American life in Memphis and the Mississippi Delta. Ida B. Wells, Robert Church, Mary Church Terrell, W.C. Handy, B.B. King, and virtually every Blues musicians from the delta area came thru Beale Street. Today, it is famous for its many clubs, restaurants, theaters, stores, W.C. Handy Park, Robert Church Park, numerous historical markers, and Beale Street Music Festival.
Blues Hall of FameHome of the Most Prestigious Awards in the BluesLocation421 S. Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103Visit WebsiteA place to learn about blues history, celebrate its essence, and look at its future for maintaining and sustaining the blues legacy for generations to come.
Delta Blues MuseumOldest Blues Museum in the World Location1 Blues Alley - Clarksdale, MS 38614 Visit WebsiteHoused at the historic freight depot in Clarksdale, Mississippi, it features a Muddy Waters collections and BB King guitar.
Delta Cultural CenterThe Longest Running Blues Radio Program Location141 Cherry Street, Helena, AK, 72342Visit WebsiteKing Biscuit Time, the longest running blues radio program in history, broadcasts live on weekdays from the museum. The museum also holds many exhibits on local Africa-American history.
Emmitt Till Interpretative CenterThe Story of Emmitt Till Location120 North Court Street, Sumner, Mississippi 38957 Visit WebsiteThis center is housed at the Courthouse where the trial tool place in 1955 and connects you to other local resources on Emmitt Till.
Fannie Lou Hamer Museum“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”Location17150 US HWY 49 Belzoni, MS 39038Visit WebsiteAn important civil rights organizer in Mississippi, she gave an important speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1964.
Fort PillowThe Largest Massacre of African American Soldiers during the Civil WarLocation3122 Park Road, Henning, Tennessee 38041Visit WebsiteThe battle on April 12, 1864 where Black Union Soldiers (troops) were killed in Henning, Tennessee during the Civil War under the Command of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The black soldiers belonged to the 6th U.S. Regiment Colored Heavy Artillery and a section of the 2nd Colored Light Artillery (previously known as the Memphis Battery Light Artillery (African Descent) ), under the overall command of Major Lionel F. Booth .
Full Gospel TabernacleAl Green leads services and singing at his church on SundaysLocation787 Hale Rd, Memphis, TN 38116 Visit WebsiteHis real name is Albert Leons Green and he is known as a soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who performed hit records like “Let’s Stay Together” before becoming a minister in 1976.
Grammy Museum MississippiA History of Local Grammy WinnersLocation800 W Sunflower Rd Cleveland, Mississippi 38732 Visit WebsiteHoused at the Delta State University, looking at the past, present, and future of music as well as the culture from which it came, keeping the legacy of music alive.
Ida B Wells-Barnett MuseumLearn about Ida B. Wells known as “crusader for justice.”Location220 North Randolph Avenue, Holly Springs, MS 38635 Visit WebsiteShe was an educator, journalist, anti-lynching activist, civil rights pioneer, and one of the founders of the NAACP. Her office was burned down and she was forced to leave Memphis due to reporting on the Peoples Grocery lynchings in 1892. She created the field of lynching studies and wrote several books on lynching including Southern Horrors and the Red Record .
Mason TempleMLK Gave His Last Speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”, at Mason Temple, the World Headquarters of the Largest African American Pentecostal Denomination in the WorldLocation930 Mason St., Memphis, TN 38126 Visit WebsiteThe Mason Temple is the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). COGIC is the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination in the world. COGIC played an important role in the civil rights movement. On April 3 rd , 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Due to his assassination the next day, this would be his last speech.
Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum {Burkle Estate}The underground railroad runs thru MemphisLocation 826 North Second Street, Memphis, TN 38173Visit WebsiteA place to learn about African Americans escaping to freedom with the help of Jacob Burkle, who risked his life by keeping African Americans in his home and helping them to escape. The story of the secret network of the underground railroad revealed through artifacts, exhibits and displays of the slave era.
National Civil Rights Museum Assassination of Martin Luther KingLocation 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103 Visit WebsiteThis was originally the Lorraine Motel (formerly the Marquette Hotel) where Rev. Martin Luther King stayed at in support of Memphis sanitation workers in 1968.  On April 4, 1968 he was standing outside on the balcony of Room 306 where he was shot and later died at St. Joseph Hospital.  The Lorraine Motel became in 1991 the National Civil Rights Museum where it tells the history of the civil rights movement.  It also acquired the building (boarding house) across the street where the shot came from.  In 2018 it will mark the 50 th Anniversary of his assassination.
Stax MuseumWhere Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, and many others created their soul musicLocation926 E. McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38106 Visit WebsiteFrom the 1950s thru the 1970s, Stax recorded many soul music greats. It is the Stax behind the legendary Wattstax concert.
Tina Turner MuseumQueen of RockLocation121 Sunny Hill Cv, Brownsville, Tennessee, TN 38012Visit WebsiteThe one room schoolhouse which was Tina Turner’s elementary school is now a museum dedicated to her. Learn what living in the 1940’s and 1950’s was like for African American in Tina Turner’s hometown. They also have an annual Tina Turner Heritage Day.
WC Handy Memphis Home & MuseumFathers of the BluesLocation 352 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38173 Visit WebsiteThe museum is located in a house where W.C. Handy lived, which was restored and moved to Beale Street by the Blues Foundation.
Withers CollectionThe Photographer of the Civil Rights MovementLocation333 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38173 Visit WebsiteErnest Columbus Withers was a freelance photojournalist who lived in Memphis and had a studio on Beale Street. The museum was open in 2011, which tell the story of Memphis History. He took some amazing photographs during the civil rights movement, especially during the trial of Emmett Till in 1955, and during the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike.

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