Six Years and Counting – Welcome Summer 2011 Team!

Here we are again – my favorite time of year and a new Crossroads team. I have high hopes for you all, as individuals and as the team I know you will become.

To get us started, I’m going to post everyone’s first assignments so we can all reflect together on our roles as both students and teachers, as life-long learners learning together about our role in this place we call home – Memphis, TN.

Nice work everyone – now, here they come!

Dr. B.

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm  Comments (15)  


  1. Post 1.

    You see the hyper-sexualization of blacks on television today, but what about the days before television? How could this be proved?

  2. Post 2.

    Memphis’ cultural history is amazing! We’ll show you how lucky you are to live here. Learn how Memphians are the ‘big shots’ of the South! Be proud of your city!

  3. Post 3.

    Snowden Elementary

    Growing up in Mississippi, the only aspects of Memphis I was familiar with was the rich music history and the rich barbecue traditions. Also since I am not a Memphian my initial impressions on Memphis were due to stereotypes and news related. Memphis is often portrayed on the news as a very corrupt city, often rated near the top as one of the most dangerous cities. As I began attending school at Rhodes College quickly noticed that many students volunteered their time at Snowden Elementary and I noticed Snowden Elementary bumper stickers on numerous of cars throughout Midtown Memphis. Prior to watching interviews from the Crossroads to Freedom archive I just assumed Snowden was the typical elementary school and I did not know Snowden was as old as it is and that it has always has a very good reputation for education and academics. Listening to the interview with Mrs. Frances Brown, I learned that Snowden has been around for a very long time and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that integration went over extremely well with the classmates at Snowden. It is extremely easy to view or judge aspects of Memphis based stereotypes, therefore it is extremely important to talk to people that actually live in Memphis to get a real sense of what Memphis was like in the past and the present. By looking at the Crossroads to freedom website it is extremely fascinating to see how Memphis has changed throughout history and see how Memphis was shaped due to occurring events throughout history.

  4. Post 4.

    Russell Sugarmon – Was he an ordinary man or a genius mastermind? To learn more and make your own decision, go to:

  5. Post 5.

    Going to church could be disorderly conduct? In Memphis this used to be the case. Find out more at…

  6. Post 6.

    What Can Be Gained from Viewing Crossroads to Freedom Online Archive

    The Crossroads to Freedom online archive boasts the histories of many courageous and strong African-Americans from the Memphis area. For instance after an interview with D’Army Bailey, a Tennessee circuit court judge, I had the pleasure of learning of his experiences in aiding the Shelby County Democratic Club which was an active organization of black professionals that aimed to focus the attention of African-Americans on voting and claiming a political voice. This organization worked in connection with some leaders of the NAACP and they focused their aim on helping African-Americans focus their voting power in order to further the Civil Rights Movement by supporting government officials who were not in favor of segregation. The history of how such diligent individuals and organizations in Memphis managed to make a difference through a united front during the Civil Rights Movement are taken into account and documented here on the Crossroads to Freedom website

  7. Post 7.

    Cotton, lumber, Barbecue, Blues— these vocabularies may quickly outline what Memphis is like, but are far from capturing what Memphis is.

    Take “cotton and lumber” as an example; to most people, they simply indicate Memphis is a plantation town with large area of land to produce woods and cotton. From Mr. Lewis Donelson’s perspective, the paternalistic attitude between white and black people was what really made Memphis a plantation town. During segregation, the white did not hate the black but thought the black as their responsibility and depended upon them at the same time. Such a relationship made Memphis a plantation town rather than a redneck town.

    Thus, a simple label “plantation town” contains much more that it sounds as Memphis was and is a town that cannot be described in a few words.

    Crossroads To Freedom. 2008-07-15.

    Rhodes College. 2011/05/30

  8. Post 8.

    A large part of Memphis’ Civil Rights History can be focused around a few critical events, such as the Sanitation strike, the assassination of Martin Luther King, and subsequent riots that followed. The riots and protests that occurred played a large role in bringing about equality and civil rights. Rarely, however, do we think about the viewpoints of people who were trying to control the riots or protests. How did the police or military feel about these riots? Were all of these troops trying to stop the spread of Civil Rights? These questions are answered by former serviceman Marshall Tyler. Mr. Tyler was one of the military servicemen called to quell the Civil Rights riots. However, his interview reveals that his fellow servicemen were as divided on the issue of civil rights as any other group. View his interview at“> to learn more!

  9. Post 9.

    In 1961, there was an ad in the Commercial Appeal urging Pres. Kennedy to give rights to African Americans of Memphis

  10. Post 10.

    Think your Sweet 16 was Big Timing? But did you have a HOOP SKIRT?! Check out the 1958 Alpha Kappa Alpha Debutantes as featured in the Bluff City Society newspaper.

  11. Post 11.

    One fact about Memphis that I did not know is that women were a completely different group from the knights of the ku klux klan.

  12. Post 12.

    Congressman Dan Kuykendall’s Critique of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Dr. King’s visit to Memphis during the municipal strikes of 1968 ignited much debate all over the country concerning racial equality. Despite Memphis’s black population, and Dr. Kings local popularity, even some Memphians criticized his presence in the city. One such critic, Representative Dan Kuykendall of Congressional District 9, gave a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives detailing his disapproval. In his speech he offers some interesting insights on Dr. King’s visit to Memphis: “Dr. King’s blaming our local leadership for this violence is like a visiting uncle giving his nephew a 5 lb box of chocolate and blaming the belly ache on the child’s mother.”

    To see Kuykendall’s speech:

  13. Post 13.

    Memphis has a rich musical history and influence, especially in the 50s and 60s and many clubs were important to black performers and black audiences during that time, including Club Handy. Want to know more? Visit

  14. Post 14.

    Are you a lover of music? If so, surely you will be able to appreciate this. During the 1960’s an English rock band named Pink Floyd rose to stardom. An individual by the name of Edward “Eddie” Ray, who at the time was a high level executive in the music industry, credits himself with signing and bringing Pink Floyd to America. If it had not been for Mr. Eddie Ray’s appreciation for talent the world may not have been exposed to this legendary rock band. However, not only did he discover Pink Floyd and other major talents in music, Mr. Eddie Ray also was the commissioner for U.S. copyrights appointed by President Reagan. Take a moment and learn more about Mr. Ray’s life, achievements, and changes he made for the music industry by following the link below!

  15. Now it’s time to vote for your favorite! Note that there are 4 separate polls here.

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