This post is sponsored by Memphis Travel
Memphis, Tennessee has such a cool vibe. The city’s musical legacy is apparent when you visit. It feels like every shop has just the right playlist going and there’s live music everywhere. The city's deep history of Black culture and innovation is also apparent, spanning soul music to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. You can and should explore that legacy today in Memphis.
Here’s how to spend a full a day exploring Black-owned businesses and history in Memphis!
All of the stops below are Black-owned or in the case of the museums, they explore vital aspects of Black history. I was lucky enough to visit and try them out on my recent trip to Memphis and had so much fun. This mini itinerary would be perfect for one big long day in the city, or you could break it up to have a more leisurely weekend of Black-owned business and Black history in Memphis. It's up to you!
Start the day with breakfast at Biscuits & Jams, where the food stands up the name. The biscuits are light, fluffy, and you can choose from a variety of jams. There's also a fun cocktail menu. It’s a great start to the day though it gets busy so try to arrive early to beat the rush.
From there, head to the Anti Gentrification Coffee Club for your morning caffeine. This shop uses art, hip hop, and coffee to ask, "what if you love Black people like you love black cxffee?" Their coffee is fabulous and I highly recommend checking out the merch while you're there.
After you're fueled, hit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Entrance yourself in the history of soul music and learn about the legacy of Stax Records, which reverberates through music even today. This museum is a fun walk through time and a look at an era that we all remember through music. Plan to spend about an hour and a half at the Stax Museum.
Then for lunch, you cannot miss Cozy Corner. This family-owned spot was founded by Desiree Robinson, the first African-American woman to be inducted into American Royal's BBQ Hall of Fame! Order at the counter and prepare to feast!
After lunch, make time for a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. It's expansive, so give yourself the afternoon here to explore the history of Civil Rights at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's assassination. It's heavy but an essential stop.
If you're up for it after the museum, meander on Beale Street, once a thriving center of Black culture and enterprise and "Home of the Blues." Beale Street is where you’ll likely catch live music and see street performances. It's also a great strip for people-watching.
For dinner, you can walk from Beale Street to the nearby Supper Club on 2nd! My meal here was excellent, and I have no notes. Plus, the atmosphere is super cute, ideal for a date night.
After dinner, if you're up to it, you can always end the night at Inkwell, a cocktail bar with such a cute vibe and one of the only spots I visited in Memphis with zero proof options.
There’s so much more to see and do in Memphis, but this is a great start to exploring Black Memphis! If you have any questions about Memphis or any of the stops listed here, drop them in the comments below and I'll try my best to answer them.