MEMPHIS, Tenn.– In case you haven’t looked at your calendar — or for most of us, your phone– it’s 901 Day!
There are a lot of activities slated for Memphians to celebrate the occasion — Everything from musical events to retail discounts. But a Memphis organization focused on uplifting black men put a new twist on this special day.
It was all aboard Thursday morning for a group of men headed by trolley to visit five small businesses owned and operated by black men.
The tour sponsored by the organization Black Men Crowned gave the event a unique name in honor of 901 Day.
“A popular terminology that’s in the City of Memphis is “mane” and it’s spelled m-a-n-e. So what we did was we kind of changed the term and called it “901 Mane Street,” said Justin Hart, CED of Black Men Crowned.
The group wasted no time in their goal of meeting and learning more about what drives small black-owned businesses on Main Street.
They started at Penny Hardaway’s Celebrity Cutz, took the trolley down to ODDS Atelier, then made their way to Cupcake Cutie, where owner Robert Clayton was ready and waiting with a mountain of cupcakes
“Of course, I love it, yea, of course. It’s great advertisement for us. It’s more like let the City know, ‘hey, we’re here, come on down and help support,'” Clayton said.
The group had lunch and appetizers at Sage Memphis before a final off Main stop at Robusto by Havana Mix, a popular cigar bar where owner Rob Hunter really knows how to appreciate a fine cigar.
Hunter believes his business does a lot to connect with other black men in a positive way.
“That’s bringing people together, having conversations so that we can make better decisions in life for ourselves and for our families,” Hunter said.
Organizers of 901 MANE STREET hope the event will create greater awareness throughout the community.
Last year, Black Men Crowned also honored ten black men for their contributions to the Memphis community. The sold-out event was held at the National Civil Rights Museum.