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Preserve America Designation for Orange Mound Celebrated in Memphis

Hundreds of advocates, community leaders, schoolchildren, and other members of the public gathered at Mount Pisgah Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in southeast Memphis Dec. 16 to celebrate the designation of Orange Mound as the 905th Preserve America Community.

Orange Mound holds the distinction of being the first subdivision in the U.S. designed specifically for African Americans. Attendees of the designation ceremony were treated to a reenactment of the story of Orange Mound's origins, as well as stirring music and dance performances by local ensembles from the Blues City Cultural Center and Melrose High School. U.S. Representative Steve Cohen and ACHP Member Jordan Tannenbaum also addressed the audience, with the crowd applauding Tannenbaum's acknowledgment of the community's success in 2015 in celebrating its 125th anniversary.

The ceremony closed with Tannenbaum reading the official Preserve America designation letter from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the presentation of a replica of the official designation sign for the community.

Orange Mound was named after the Osage orange shrubs that lined the grounds of the Deadrick Plantation, from which the lands that formed the community were deeded in 1870. The land was purchased by Izey Eugene Meacham, who in turn sold plots to local African Americans.

Posted April 16, 2018

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