41st Annual AJHA Convention
Memphis, Tennessee | Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2022
California Polytechnic State University
University of Alabama
University of Memphis
Former professor at Middle Tennessee State University
Memphis postcard from the 1950s.
Welcome to Memphis
WHERE MUSIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE TRADITIONS CONVERGE
“I can’t wait!!” are the first three words I hear from our members that are planning to come to this year’s AJHA annual convention Memphis. I’m sure we’d all agree that this year’s convention will be special for several reasons. Although we’ve seen each other during our virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021, nothing beats the hugs, conversations and insights we share when we gather at the coffee station, hotel bar, lobby or poolside. And the best reason why our upcoming convention will be special is that we’ll be in Memphis, TN!
Memphis is sometimes referred to as a “contradiction.” Founded in1819, the city has evolved from its humble beginnings as a settlement on the Mississippi River to the 28th largest city in the US in 2020. Most people know Memphis as the home of the blues, soul music, and the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Memphis musical legends include Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Al Green, Johnny Cash, Ma Rainey and Mavis Staples. Although the legends are no longer with us, they left Memphis with a strong musical heritage that continues to inspire new artists. The city is known also as a “Sports Town” and is home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis Tigers. Sports, a historic and vibrant music and arts scene, and a reasonable cost of living has attracted millennials looking for opportunities to live at a reasonable price.
Memphis is remembered for Ida B. Wells-Barnett as well as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The city has embraced its history and made a commitment to tell the story of the struggle for human rights with the National Civil Rights Museum At The Lorraine Motel, which is this year's historic tour.
Memphis in the 1920s.
THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARRIVE EARLY
Because there’s so much history to see and explore in the city, it’s wise to consider coming to Memphis early. If you do come early and you're looking for something to do, consider the Suffrage Walking tour. Located a few blocks away from the Sheraton hotel is a marker for the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail. There is also the Duck Walk at the historic Peabody Hotel.
Music fans should consider visiting Graceland, one of many historic treasures in Memphis. Even though Elvis won’t be in the building, you’ll be able to explore how he lived. The best way to get to and from Graceland is to drive or use an independent transportation provider such as Uber of Lyft. If you’re interested, make sure you devote a lot of time for the tour. Prices will vary by what you’d like to see. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is at the original site of Stax Records, and it houses thousands of artifacts celebrating the music made by Otis Redding, Carla Thomas and Al Green – just to name a few. You’ll need to drive or use an independent transportation provider to visit. Sun Studio is another famous recording studio located in the Beale Street area. Sun Studio has a long list of artists that include Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
If you’re looking for a different point of view, put The Lookout Restaurant at the top of The Pyramid on your Memphis to-do list. The Pyramid is home to Bass Pro Shop and the Big Cypress Lodge (an outdoor themed five-star hotel). Take the elevator to the top of the Pyramid and you’ll find a restaurant with a view of Memphis you won’t forget. The Pyramid isn’t far from the hotel but unless you’re ready for a long walk, you’ll need a car or rideshare to get there and back. The view is worth the effort!
Check out our conference pages for more on accommodations, the historic tour and special events such as the closing gala.
Your Local Host Committee — Joseph Hayden, Robert Byrd, Dianne Bragg and Jane Marcellus — worked diligently to make sure you have opportunities to experience the city’s legendary cuisine, music venues and social justice landmarks that tell the story of the city, Tennessee and our nation.
Welcome to Memphis!