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New museum planned to celebrate South Memphis and its contributions to the bluff city

MoSH and SCMCC officials said the new museum is being proposed for the old Porter School, just east of Danny Thomas Blvd.
Credit: Google Maps

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The South City Museum and Cultural Center is teaming up with the Memphis Museum of Science and History to create a new museum celebrating African American history in the bluff city.

MoSH and SCMCC officials said the new museum is being proposed for the old Porter School, just east of Danny Thomas Blvd., which previously housed the MLK Transition Academy. The museum is aimed at celebrating South Memphis and the notable civic leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and politicians, as well as the area’s contributions to Memphis.

“Our mission is to create a place to commemorate the past and celebrate the future, showcasing the history of one of Memphis’ oldest African American neighborhoods,” said Archie Willis III, Board Chair of the SCMCC, in a news release. “We are grateful to the Museum of Science & History for their assistance in planning and curation of our new space, which is so important to the people of this great neighborhood.”

The museum’s proposed launch is set for 2024. MoSH will help with guidance for museum management.

“We are so excited to partner with Archie and the South City Museum & Cultural Center,” said Kevin Thompson, Executive Director of MoSH. “It’s an incredible project that will elevate not just this part of Memphis, but the entire region. Our team can’t wait to get started as we help make this vision come alive for South City and for Memphis.”

SCMCC said the new museum’s initial focus area “spans from the Mississippi River on the West side to East Parkway South on the East; from Beale Street/Vance Avenue on the North and to Mallory Avenue/Norris Road/Ball Road on the South side. From this geographic area emerged a prodigious amount of talent and influence, from Robert Church to the Hooks Family to Booker T. Jones to former Mayor Willie Herenton. The area is also home to important institutions and organizations such as Lemoyne-Owen College and the Church of God in Christ.”

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