Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Event Provides History Lesson On the Bluff City

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Memphians will be able to receive a history lesson on the past, present, and future of the Bluff City on Thursday, March 22nd at the Benjamin Hooks Library.

The Leadership Academy will host “Memphis 101” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in meeting room C of the library.

Attendees of the history lesson, facilitated by president of Memphis Athletic Ministries James Armfield, will learn how the first black southern millionaire, Robert Church, purchased a $1,000 bond to help restore the city’s charter, how yellow fever almost wiped out the city’s population, and about the area’s significance in the civil rights movement.

They’ll also learn the history of the city’s music and politics.

“It looks at how music brought us together, even during racially tense times,” said Rashana Lincoln, director of community engagement for the Leadership Academy. “There was that crossing over of the soulful music into what became rock ’n’ roll. It [also] looks at our city from a political stance, the impacts of civil rights and voting, and our first African-American mayor of the city and county.”

Other topics include FedEx, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the advances being made in biotechnology and bioagriculture with the Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

Memphis 101 is one of the tools that the academy offers to participants of its “Leadership Fellows” program, employees at area companies, and local organizations. It’s also one of the academy’s tools to recruit, engage, and retain top talent.

Lincoln said the presentation is periodically offered to the public to help instill pride and appreciation in the city.

“Memphis is a great place to live. We’ve got a bright future ahead, and we have a rich past,” Lincoln said. “We need to feel better about our city and hold it in a better light. Everywhere has its problems and its greatness, and Memphis is no different. We might have challenges, but we have a lot to celebrate as well. The goal is that people leave [the presentation] feeling better about the city than they did before they walked in.”

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