New Orange Mound project to highlight Black-owned businesses

WMC preview: New Orange Mound project to highlight Black-owned businesses

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Orange Mound, one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in the nation, is launching a new event meant to shine a light on Black entrepreneurs in Memphis.

The event will take place on the grounds of a historic high school.

“We are standing outside of the historic Melrose High School and people haven’t been in there for 35 plus years,” said Tiana Pyles, executive director of the Orange Mound Development Corporation.

The Grove in Orange Mound

The building is boarded up to the public, but soon the parking lot will be open for business.

“You change your spaces as the community needs and you keep going,” said Pyles.

On Saturday, the corporation is launching The Grove in Orange Mound, a business expo for Black-owned businesses.

“Orange Mound is always innovative, so we have a lot of entrepreneur spirits,” said Pyles.

October is the perfect month to launch the event since Orange Mound has gained attention over the years with community events during the month such as a movie night and an annual 5K.

Eventually Pyles would like to have a farmer’s market at the event, but the ongoing pandemic forced them to put it on hold.

“The health department is cautious about new efforts. There are some existing farmer’s markets. However, they would like to be cautious with everything that’s going on,” she explained.

Saturday’s expo will adhere to health department guidelines.

Pyles hopes the event can at least bring a spark to a space that’s been dormant for years.

“Yes, it will be once again a space in which Orange Mound will need moving forward into our future," said Pyles.

The Grove in Orange Mound kicks off Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. at 843 Dallas Street.

For more information on Orange Mound in October events, click here.

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