No other southern city has a history quite like Memphis
. First purchased in the early 1800s from natives to serve as a vital port for the emerging American river trade, the city flourished until the tumultuous years of the Civil War brought chaos and uncertainty. Yet the city survived. Through the triumphs and tragedies of the civil rights movement
and beyond, Memphis endured it all. Despite its compelling story, no concise history of this home of soulful music and unmistakable flavor is available to modern readers. Thankfully, local historian and Memphis archivist G. Wayne Dowdy has filled this gap with a history of Memphis that is as vibrant and welcoming as the city itself. Join Dowdy as he tells the city’s story as only a Memphian can.
Memphis is a town on the Mississippi River at the western end of Tennessee, known both for music and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights movement, which aimed to deliver the rights assured black Americans in the post-Civil-War amendments, reached its peak of activity in the 1960's.