Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Beale Street #2

 
 
Beale Street #2 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Byron Hooks, September 17, 2016
1. Beale Street #2 Marker
Inscription. First there was a slope of woodland that met the Mississippi River. Chickasaw Indians hunted there until the early 19th century. Then there was Beale Street. It began as the main road of South Memphis and by 1850, when that separate town was consolidated with Memphis, Beale was already a major thoroughfare. At its western end, where it met the Mississippi, roustabouts piled cotton on to 200-foot steamboats; about a mile upriver at its eastern end gentry lived in mansions. In between was a growing community based on commerce and good times.

Before 1900 Beale Street had an opera house, a fashionable hotel, a girls' finishing school, and one of the first large office buildings in Memphis. It was a place where Jewish, Italian, Greek, and Chinese immigrants lived and worked. And it was, especially, a place where African-American freedmen came to make a world.

By the early 1920s Beale Street had become the capital of Black Memphis and the mid-South. It was a mecca for musicians, politicians, ministers, businessmen, gamblers, conjurers, and bootleggers. There were banks and bordellos, pawn shops and theaters - a few blocks of brick and cement where the well-heeled and down-and-out could hope and dream and have a life.

By the 1960s, after civil rights struggles had provided new opportunities and after urban renewal
Beale Street image. Click for full size.
By Byron Hooks, September 17, 2016
2. Beale Street
had taken its toll, that flourishing Beale Street had vanished. Today, old Beale Street lives amid the rebuilt environment mostly as a memory for people who experienced it and as a symbol for those who only heard its name.

Center for Southern Folklore
 
Location. 35° 8.398′ N, 90° 3.231′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on Beale Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Memphis TN 38103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Beale Street #1 (here, next to this marker); Lansky Brothers (a few steps from this marker); Schools For Freedmen (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Beale Street #3 (about 300 feet away); Beale Street #4 (about 300 feet away); Hooks Brothers Photography (about 400 feet away); The Blues Trail From Mississippi to Memphis (about 700 feet away); Beale Street Historic District (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Also see . . .
1. Memphis Travel. Beale Street, was declared a National Historic Landmark and the Home of the Blues by an act of Congress. (Submitted on September 11, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 

2. Beale Street. (Submitted on September 11, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
 
Categories. African AmericansEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
 
2016 Car show on Beale Street image. Click for full size.
By Byron Hooks, September 17, 2016
3. 2016 Car show on Beale Street
Beale Street image. Click for full size.
By Byron Hooks, September 17, 2016
4. Beale Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 73 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 11, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement