A Community Called Orange Mound, premiering Monday, February 4 at 9:00 p.m. on WKNO/Channel 10, is the story of a southeast Memphis neighborhood with a surprising legacy. The broadcast of the 60-minute documentary is sponsored by The New Olivet Baptist Church; Fred L. Davis Insurance Agency; and Tim Thompson, author of The Locker Room.
Established on the grounds of the former Deaderick plantation, Orange Mound was one of the first communities in the United States to be built entirely by and for African Americans. The self-contained community that emerged attracted not only laborers and domestic workers, but also doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and teachers, all of whom were proud to call Orange Mound home.
"One of the closest-knit groups in Memphis, the residents of Orange Mound are still intensely loyal to the neighborhood that has been home to many families for generations," said producer Jay Killingsworth. "And they all say the same thing: even though they can live elsewhere and have had opportunities to do so, Orange Mound is home and that is where they intend to stay."
Orange Mound, a neighborhood located in southeast Memphis, Tennessee, was the first African-American neighborhood in the United States to be built by African-Americans.
Built on the grounds of the former Deaderick plantation, the Orange Mound subdivision was developed for African-Americans in the 1890's to provide affordable land and residences for the less wealthy.
Drugs and crime infected the neighborhood in the 1980's and 1990's. In the first decade of the 21st century, revitalization efforts were started and show positive effects.
Orange Mound is bounded by Semmes St. to the east and by Kimball Avenue to the south. The Southern Avenue/IC Railroad tracks on the north separate it from the Midtown and University Districts, while Lamar Avenue on the southwest and the CN Railroad tracks (visible at Park Av. & Lamar) on the west both separate it from South Memphis and the East Parkway District.