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Metro Area

Sources: World Population Review, Wikipedia

Known by many names
Bluff City, Grind City, The Blues City, The Birthplace of Rock and Roll

When considering Memphis, we ask you to embrace your soulful side. This is a city of soul food, soul music, and the heart and soul of the American Civil Rights movement. It’s also a city that will enliven your soul with joyful fire just by its proximity to you.

A view of the I-40 Bridge overlooking the Mississippi RiverPhoto by Emily Finch

Today, Memphis is a city abundant with welcoming communities and opportunities for all kinds of creative people. The city’s grit and grind attitude isn’t just responsible for nurturing innovative ideas to new heights, but also creating the conditions for entrepreneurs to blaze trails. Last year, Afrotech highlighted Memphis as one of the Top Markets for Black Entrepreneurs, with all of the city’s programs, resources, and opportunities to help innovators and creatives thrive.

The magic of Memphis lives in both the past and present, which becomes apparent as one strolls through town. During the 1960s, the city played a crucial and compelling role in the civil rights movement. And music? It has always been a source of comfort, inspiration, and courage for those focused on improving their city. The unifying power of song in the present day becomes startlingly apparent through venues like B.B King Blues Club, Lafayette’s Music Room, and Minglewood Hall, where all walks of life can be found appreciating the diverse talent the city has to offer.

“Memphis is the place where rock was born and Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed. It’s full of contradictions, abject poverty, and riches that only music can provide.”

Maren MorrisMusician

As opposed to constructing new ones from the ground up, Memphis proudly restores many buildings to glory. The vertical village Crosstown Concourse, a beautiful mixed-use development of apartments, nonprofits, shops, and restaurants, includes a public art arm that sponsors artists in residence and has a mission to use arts and culture as a catalyst for change in the city. Rum Boogie Cafe sits at the corner of Beale Street and Highway 61, where you can see a collection of over 300 guitars (each with its own vibrato) while hearing the rock and roll that those instruments iconically brought to life. Around the city, you’ll also find trendy bars like Alchemy, and the famous, family-run disco dance club Paula & Raiford’s Disco.

There’s a lot that can draw you to the city—the outrageously sumptuous food, vibrant arts scenes, timeless southern hospitality, or the fact that it’s a mecca of musical history. The city has endured its share of hard times, but often turned them into dynamic cultural and artistic explorations that are sure to inspire visitors and locals alike.

A city good for… the constant reminder of civic vitality.

Blues City in the summertimePhoto by PJ Gal-Szabo
Memphis has seen struggle. It’s not a secret that the city has been slowly emerging from a sluggish crawl that may have kickstarted when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. But fresh energy is rampant in Memphis, and revitalization seems to be the common denominator that’s fueling new growth and new ambition.