Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week has been moved to the week leading up to the celebration of Juneteenth, which now is a national holiday.
“We want to be more intentional about our spending and connect that to Juneteenth,” said Pearl Eva Walker, the founder of the week, which will be observed for the fourth year.
President Joe Biden last year signed a bill establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans. The final act of liberation came months after the Confederate army’s surrender ended the Civil War, and more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
“The overall goal (Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week) is to get people to come to Whitehaven and support businesses, specifically Black businesses,” said Walker.
“Many of us are of the mind that Memphis-Shelby County needs a really strong Black economic base and Whitehaven has a lot of what we judge is required and needed already. So, let’s build upon that. We’re not saying no Black businesses outside of Whitehaven, but something where a lot of our energy and resources are centrally located.”
The effort has evolved beyond Whitehaven to encompass Westwood, Walker Homes and the whole southwestern corner of the city, Walker said.
“The southwestern corner of the city, of Shelby County, has the highest voter turnout, if it’s based on commission districts. That’s a portion of Whitehaven going all the way over to the southwest corner. We got a lot of unique things going on.”
Regarding the move of the week from January to coincide with Juneteenth, Walker lamented the new national holiday already is being “commercialized all over the place. There’s nothing we can do about it. But we can be intentional with our dollars and spending …. It’s a great way to be mindful and reflective of Juneteenth.
“There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth but we feel this is definitely one of the appropriate ways to celebrate Juneteenth, being mindful of your spending during that week.”
On Thursday (June 16), Smooth Living, at 1263 Winchester, will be the venue from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as Ujamaa Whitehaven Business Directory presents Jazz & Juneteenth Kickoff, featuring live jazz by Tony XP Ivory on piano.
The following restaurants are signed up for this year’s Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week. Walker encourages patronage throughout the week and all year round of these and other eateries in the community.
4571 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Sun.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
1709 E. Holmes
Tues-Sat, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
2063 E. Brooks Rd.
Mon., 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tues.-Fri, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kaye’s Pints & Scoops
2089 Winchester Rd.
Fri., 3 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., noon- 6 p.m.
Kountry Cookin’ Soul Food
1128 Winchester Rd.
Sun.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
4103 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Sun., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.;
Mon.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
4412 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Sun, noon-9 p.m.
Mon.-Thurs, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Memphis Smokes Cigar Lounge
3241 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Wed.-Mon., 3 p.m.-midnight
1263 Winchester Rd.
Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken
3633 Millbranch Rd.
Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.
4715 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Tue.-Thurs., 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m (Happy Hour 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.)