Redefining Tradition: A New Chapter for the Southern Heritage Classic

The Southern Heritage Classic is back! But this time, we welcome a new cat, the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions.

band forming 901
Tiffani Denham

It's Not Just About Football

The Southern Heritage Classic has been a staple in the Midsouth Community for decades. Not just involving the participating schools but the local community, high schools, and businesses; they all benefit from this celebratory experience. And it's not just about football. 

three ladies posing
Tiffani Denham

An Opportunity to Create New Traditions

As a Tennessee State University alum and a beloved Memphian, listen, I am beyond excited! Despite Jackson State abruptly pulling out last year, I believe this is an opportunity to create new traditions and enhance the experience.

Kelsi Woods shares similar sentiments about the tradition of the Southern Heritage Classic. "It's unfortunate that JSU is no longer participating. Growing up, attending the Southern Heritage Classic was something that I looked forward to every year. I was excited for the great vibes, the big game, and the overall great experience. With me being a Memphis Native and a JSU Alum, I got the best of both worlds!"

Tiffani Denham

It's Where My HBCU Love was Cultivated

Like Kelsi and many others, I've been participating in the Southern Heritage Classic for over 20 years, long before I was officially associated with the school. It's where my HBCU love was cultivated.

As a high school student, I couldn't wait until the 2nd weekend in September to get with my friends (sometimes in matching outfits) to tailgate, pick a tiger to rep, and engage in passionate debates about which school had the best (fill in the blank).

crowd of people
Tiffani Denham

Celebrate and Reunite, and All are Welcome

With the University of Memphis so prominent in this area, The Classic presented something unique, something as a young black high school student I had never seen in the city, promoting HBCU pride, unity, advancement, and possibility!

And 34 years later, it still does.

Deidre Ellis, a local Memphian, and Howard University graduate, summed it up perfectly, "It’s like an HBCU celebration, reunion, and homecoming all-in-one for our city."

And that's just what we plan to do again this year: celebrate and reunite, and all are welcome.

people tailgating
Tiffani Denham

See ya There

The Southern Heritage Classic has been and always will be an annual celebration that ignites a sense of unity, showcases cultural richness, and strengthens the bonds of community. Check out the list of events for the entire weekend.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tiffani, a diverse serial traveler and content creator who appreciates an exclusive first-class travel experience and a good camping adventure! When it comes to travel, I don't discriminate.

Recognizing the lack of diversity and representation in the travel space over the last few years, I have found joy in exploring new places and immersing myself in the local culture while teaching others how to do the same. "Oftentimes, people don't realize they can do something until they see someone else doing it." My mission is to curate travel experiences that make others say, "If Tiffani can do it, surely I can too."

Build your perfect Memphis meal: Catfish and spaghetti, Fried Chicken and spaghetti, BBQ and spaghetti. Pretty much anything with SPAGHETTI!

The most underrated thing(s) about Memphis: Coming from spending the majority of my adult life in the Washington DC area, the fact that I can do anywhere downtown or mid-town and find FREE on-the-street parking is top-tier. And for whatever reason, if I do have to pay for parking, the maximum I've ever paid was $20. Parking rates start at $20- $30 in DC.

What's your favorite Memphis place to hit: I absolutely love Loflin Yards for a place to hang out and chill. I don't feel bad about inviting friends with kids out when I headed here because everyone loves this place. If I want an elevated vibe, it's a tie between, Inkwell and Beck & Call.

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