Celebrate Black History Month with Jared "Jay B." Boyd + Things To Do This Week

Happy Black History Month, Mane!

It's important to celebrate and learn more about Black History year-round, but we go a little harder in February. Tune in to how the multi-faceted Jared "Jay B." Boyd honors Black History through Memphis' rhythm and blues.

Keep up with this series as a new Memphis influencer, business owner, or creator is featured each Wednesday this month!

Jared Boyd

What's your favorite Black-owned restaurant in Memphis? What's your go-to order?

Right now, I’m rocking with Curry N’ Jerk’s Veggie Burger. I’ll grab that for a quick bite and get some Rasta Pasta to save for later. 

What's your favorite Black-owned business in Memphis? Why? 

My favorite Black-owned spot to chill is Robusto By Havana Mix. I’m a cigar guy. Whenever I need a place to read, meet up with friends (if they don’t mind smoke), whether I need a quiet place to collect my thoughts, or I feel like meeting someone new to strike up a conversation with, that’s my spot. My favorite thing to do is slide over before a Grizzlies game, get the latest word from the regulars, drink, smoke, and walk to the FedEx Forum. Once the game is over, I don’t even fight with the traffic. I’ll plop back down at the cigar lounge, have a victory cigar, and wait for the streets to clear out. Then it’s smooth sailing back to the crib.  

Who's your favorite Black artist/creator/musician from Memphis?

I’m inspired by so many Black Memphians. I’ll always stop to admire the work of Carl E. Moore. He depicts people and place with such bold lines and colors. Whenever I see him, I hold space to acknowledge his presence, which is always rewarding. He always leaves me with a thoughtful note. I truly appreciate having many people in the arts space that I connect with in those brief interactions that can be so grounding. 

What is your definition of Black culture in Memphis?

Mane. Let’s start there. Mane! Matter fact, let’s not. Because folk who never used to say “mane” starting to “mane” me to death. We might need a new word. But, I digress… Black culture in Memphis is a statement of creativity through resilience. Black Memphians have such presence and purpose globally. And that testament goes as far back as Reconstruction and Jim Crow. Almost as long as we’ve been able to leave the cotton fields and find purpose beyond labor, we’ve excelled at making the most of the promise of this very unique geography. We sit at a literal crossroads of cultures, often inheriting the rich collection of talents rising up from the Delta while garnering a compelling connection to the world. Memphis has been that place for so long, via riverboat, via FedEx plane, via record on wax, our people and our product are an import and export that pushes innovation. And Black folks play a distinguished role in making all of that happen through history - from Ida B. Wells to William Bell to La Chat to Meka Egwuekwe, we are crafty and committed across sectors and circumstance.  

Tell me your favorite Black history fact in relation to Memphis!

Hmmmmm. Robert Church’s family home was burned in by our local fire department during a demonstration in 1953 as an act of erasure, effectively removing an early monument of Black status and wealth in Memphis. Imagine the generations of children who could’ve walked by an extravagant home and learned a Black business magnate lived there. Imagine if it were a museum today. We were robbed of that. 

stax museum family day

Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Memphis

February 7 - February 13

Explore Snapshots of the Black Experience at MOSH. You’ll see a rare glimpse into life of twentieth-century African Americans through candid photos.

See a special Black History Month art exhibit at WKNO, A Memphis of Hope Art Show. Memphis artists of diverse ages, cultures, and backgrounds have come together in an exhibition with a display of artwork that inspires hope, love, unity, and peace for our city.

Every Thursday in February: Create Images in Color with a four-part workshop series exploring Black History through photography. The workshop will also explore Black photojournalism and pathways to success and Black history through The Withers Collection Museum & Gallery.

Every Saturday and Sunday in February: Learn about the lives and influence of Black Memphians throughout our city’s history. 

February 7: Unlock the key to Escape from Stax. In this escape challenge, you and your friends decide to visit your favorite local library -- only to accidentally discover a portal to the past! You're trapped in a recording booth at the legendary Stax Records.

February 9: Style and profile at Trapxart Memphis: The Blacker the Berry event. Witness a captivating display of black excellence in fashion, encouraging a celebration of style, creativity, and cultural expression. Don’t forget to wear all black.

February 9: Meet the Roaster with Cxffeeblack. You will sip Cxffeeblack and have the opportunity to learn more about the origin of Cxffeeblack and how their coffee is roasted.

February 10: Explore the African Diaspora at Stax Museum’s Family Day. This event fosters a love for the arts and provides a unique opportunity to delve into the history of Memphis, with a special focus on the pivotal role played by Stax Records. Engage with traditional African drummers and dancers, revel in the mesmerizing art of Memphis Jooking, and more.

February 10: Get mesmerized by vocalist Lizz Wright. Her music accepts the beauty of reality and a collective experience of belonging. For the listener, Wright’s songs embody a tradition that allows us to always feel at home.

February 11: Put your taste buds to the test with Cheese, Chocolate & Wine Tasting. Indulge in a sumptuous feast paired with the exquisite wines from Chef Korri Whittaker.

February 11: Journey through Harriet Tubman’s life through music. Witness the power of music as the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, joined by a chorus of over 100 vocalists from local choirs, brings Tubman's story of courage, determination, and unwavering spirit vividly to life.

About the Author

Hey there! I’m Tyra Johnson, writer and content creator for the I Love Memphis Blog. I'm a Memphis native and after a few years away, I'm back home. I love art, good eats, and live music. Join me in reclaiming my passion for Memphis, mane.

Why do you love Memphis:

Memphis has so much personality-- the people, food, music-- it just all feels good! We have so much to be proud of when speaking about the city. Also, I'm big on memories, and most of my core memories involve Memphis.

What's on your Memphis playlist?

Stay Fly by Three 6 Mafia. It's the PERFECT hype song!

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