Black Heroes

Many Black heroes and historical figures call Memphis home. Let your family walk the streets that inspired many influential Black Americans! Civil rights activist and publisher Ida B. Wells and NAACP founding member Mary Church Terrell hail from Memphis, as do Lois Deberry, the first female State Representative in Tennessee, and Harold Ford, Sr., the first African American Congressman of his district. W.S. Martin, the co-owner of the Memphis Red Sox Negro League Baseball team, and Robert Church, the South’s first Black millionaire, are from the city as well. Dr. J. E. Walker, founder of Universal Life Insurance Company, Bishop Charles H. Mason, founder of the Church of God in Christ, and W.C. Handy, known as Father of the Blues, all walked the streets of the city as well. Memphis is also home to some of the most famous Black performing artists of the century, including Blues legend and Grammy winner B.B. King, Grammy winner Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman.

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Visit Memphis and learn about legendary Blues electric guitarist B.B. King. Known for his distinctive sound, unmistakable Southern style and his 40-year devotion to his Gibson model guitar, Lucille, B.B. King puts the soul in Memphis. Visit B.B. King’s Blues Club when you visit Memphis!


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s visit to Memphis in 1968 would forge history. Marching in support of the Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike, he delivered his legendary I Have Been to the Mountaintop speech. Hear it at the National Civil Rights Museum. Visit Memphis and tour the museum which chronicles the Civil Rights struggle.