Memphis, Tennessee, is a city that one local described to us as “raw and diverse.” In the four days that Listen to America, HuffPost’s 25-city tour around the U.S., spent there, all that and more proved to be true.
The place is named after an ancient Egyptian city that fell into ruin, leaving in its wake monuments and traces of the influential figures who once called the place home. Like its African counterpart, this Memphis carries the weighted history of powerhouses ― in its case, Martin Luther King Jr., whose messages still echo in the ears of Americans everywhere and who was assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel, and Elvis Presley, who changed the music world irrevocably.
We listened to and chatted with locals and visitors alike at the vibrant new Crosstown Concourse. We hosted a lively discussion about economic justice in the storied Clayborn Temple, the meeting point for the sanitation workers’ strike of 1968, which King came to Memphis to support.
With sites like the temple, the National Civil Rights Museum and Graceland, Memphis has clearly not forgotten where it came from, and we will certainly not forget Memphis. Here’s what our time there looked like: