For a man coming from a hometown in Northern California and a college in Upstate New York, I didn’t know how much I would end up loving Memphis. This place was something brand new to me. The South in all ways was brand new to me, and to be honest I was both excited and apprehensive.
But the people of this wonderful city have a way of showing their true selves to you and in turn helping you experience new things, eat new food and become inspired.
Since we’re being honest, I grew up with a certain lack of diversity. Mind you, I encountered all types of people in the San Francisco Bay, but my town, my high school, didn’t exemplify that diversity. I found the same at Syracuse University.
Memphis helped me grow. For that I will forever be thankful.
In turn, over the past few years I’ve watched Memphis grow too. I’ve seen tragedies and too much violence that’s impossible to understand. I’ve seen triumphs and beautiful compassion that warms your soul. The construction projects are numerous and hopeful.
Being here for MLK50 and more than just the commemoration of the day but learning about the man and his teachings brought me into a new chapter of young adulthood.
I love what Memphis is. It’s hard around the edges. It has a soft center.
One thing I always tell anyone who asks, the people in this city are always working to be better. To improve the socioeconomic standing of its people. To right the wrongs that have been around for far too long.
It’s hard. It doesn’t always work. It’s not perfect. It’s a reflection of the human experience.
One thing I can be sure of is the people of Memphis will NEVER stop trying.
I hope this city grit and grinds its way there in the next 200 years. Hopefully much sooner than that.
Thank you Memphis for opening my eyes, improving my life and allowing me to hopefully help improve this beautiful community.
Find more love letters, stories and photos at wmcactionnews5.com/memphis200.