How To Spend 48 Hours In Black-Owned Memphis
Photo Credit: Heidi Kaden

Photo Credit: Heidi Kaden

How To Spend 48 Hours In Black-Owned Memphis

black owned business , Memphis , United States
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones Feb 23, 2022

Looking to patronize some Black-owned businesses while spending 48 hours in Memphis? We have just a fraction of the city’s many listed here. The largest city in Tennessee following Nashville, the “Bluff City” is synonymous with at least three genres created or influenced by Black people: rock n’ roll, soul, and blues.

Also, as highlighted by Memphis Travel, “you can feel the struggles and triumphs, experience the movements, and discover the legends and unsung heroes of Black History. Important historical sites, poignant museums, soulful recording studios, and inspiring special events point the way, whether you visit during Black History Month or beyond.­­”

Interested? Here are some Black-owned businesses you can support during your 48-hour visit to Memphis.

Day 1 - Morning

 

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There are more Black-owned breakfast and brunch spots in Memphis than can be listed.

Some include: Eggxactly Breakfast & Deli, Sage (the french toast, chicken and waffles and salmon benedict are especially delicious), and Sugashack.

The famous Stax Records was started by two white siblings, Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, and the name was a fusion of their surnames. The Stax Music Museum now in its place, highlights how Black people shaped music.

As noted by the executive director of the museum, Jeff Kollath, “this was obviously a rarity in 1960 when this space first opened. Soul music and frankly, American pop music as we know it, is rooted in the Black church and in the Black experience in the United States.”

Day 1 - Afternoon

Grab lunch at Trap Fusion, owned by Jason Gardner, Monique Williams, and Markeith McCoy. It’s Southern food with a healthier twist.

“With Southern dishes, things are cooked with a lot of grease, fat, starches, and carbs,” Williams said to High Ground News. “We’re taking those things and replacing them with healthier ingredients. For example, with Southern cuisine you sometimes have green beans that are almost soggy and limp, but they’re cooking all the nutrients out. It doesn’t have to be prepared that way for it to still be flavorful.”

For something sweet, head to Cupcake Cutie Etc., where you can build your own cupcake. Take your pick of seven kinds of icing and 15 toppings. You can also purchase cake shakes and funnel cakes.

Craving a smoothie or freshly-made juice? Check out Electrolyfe Juice Bar on Elvis Presley Boulevard.

Day 1 - Evening

 

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If you’re looking to buy clothing, check out Mbabazi (House of Style) selling beautiful African prints. It was created by Grace Byeitima in 2005.

What’s for dinner?

Since 1977, Cozy Corner has been serving up authentic Memphis-style BBQ, while The Four Way, established in 1946, serves up hearty soul food. Dr. King, Aretha Franklin, and other luminaries dined there.

Day 2 - Morning

 

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Grab a hot drink at Muggin Coffeehouse, which aims to “bring community back to the community.”

Signature drinks include Zippin’ Pippin, Flickin’ On Beale, and Bourbon Macchiato. Pair these with a cupcake, muffin, scone, or other dessert.

Learn about The Underground Railroad and abolitionist efforts at Slave Haven: The Underground Railroad Museum. It’s located on 826 North Second Street, and tours are offered.

Day 2 - Afternoon

Bombshell Sherika Fitness on Willow Lake Boulevard was founded by fitness enthusiast Sherika Holmes. There’s small group training, boot camp, and boxing, which you can take in-person or virtually.

For more Black history, visit The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. It houses exhibits dedicated to Jim Crow, the student sit-ins at lunch counters, Rosa Parks, and more. Arguably the most chilling part is room 306, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his last hours.

Day 2 - Evening

 

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Craving a burger? Roxie’s Grocery is said to have some of the best in the city.

For Southern, Creole-inspired food in an upscale environment, check out Mahogany Memphis on Poplar Avenue. Reservations are encouraged.

No trip to Memphis is complete without visiting Beale Street, the city’s answer to Bourbon Street.

It’s jam packed with live music venues, bars, shops, and history. There are many events held, such as Bike Night, the Wine Race, and the Beale Street Artcrawl.

Check out the Beale Street website for more information.

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