Star Staff Reports
With both Shelby County and Memphis City schools’ children out last week for Spring Break, the Youth Ministry at Ridgegrove Church of Christ decided to organize a tour of North Shelby County and Downtown Memphis.
Ridgegrove Church of Christ is based in Frayser in North Memphis with Gerald H. Boyd as minister.
Last Thursday a few children took advantage of a day with his wife and Children’s Bible Study Teacher Claudette Boyd and Young Adults Bible Study Teacher Thomas Sellers Jr.
The History Break tour of North Shelby County was the brainchild of Boyd. She recruited Sellers because of his love of history and his daily work at The Millington Star newspaper. She said with Sellers recording history on a daily basis.
“Working at a newspaper feeds my love of history,” Sellers said. “Sharing the love of Memphis and Shelby County history with children is my honor and pleasure. I just hope they have fun and understand how Memphis has helped to shape the world.”
In Sellers’ group were Selena Isabel and siblings Me-Kayla and Mali’q Sissoko. The day started with a cruise through Frayser, Northaven and Woodstock areas. The convenient location made it easy to shoot down Second Street toward Downtown and the Riverfront areas.
The Riverfront stop gave Sellers a chance to explain the functions taking place on the Mississippi River, distribution and Hernando DeSoto’s settling of the area.Walking near streets like Exchange, Auction and Union told the history of Memphis business since 1819. The children questioned the construction taking place at the Pyramid. Boyd explained the future of the building becoming the world largest’s Bass Pro Shop. Then Sellers took advantage of the Pyramid by telling the children Memphis’ name came from the ancient capital in Egypt that also featured similar structures near the Nile River.
After a quick visit to Gerald’s office at MLG&W, the tour stopped near the Orpheum Theater as auditions were underway for the Fox show “So You Think You Can Dance.”
A Memphis Tourism employee came up and explained the event starting with thousands of would-be dancers and several cameras. By the time the Ridgegrove group was at the corner of South Main and Beale Street it was a few dozen dancers with hope of making the show. The tour continued for Sellers and his students on the Main Street Trolley. The main attraction of the day was sighting of several members of the sorority AKA. The pink and green dominated the attractions of Downtown with the sorority meeting at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The ride on the trolley gave the children a chance to see the Civil Rights Museum, Cotton Exchange and Pinch District.
“We saw history and history being made today,” Sellers concluded. “We saw why Memphis is a destination for people all over the world, and I hope the children realize they can help to continue to make Memphis and Shelby County the place to be.”