The question of the generation: Memphis, Memphis or Memphis, Tennessee


Ryan Haskett

The Hernando de Soto Bridge, better known as the M Bridge, reflects across the Mississippi River. This bridge, which contains the line between Memphis and Arkansas, is a trademark of the city.

It’s practically a fact of life that whenever I’m running late, I’ll be caught by the Poplar train. Just like it’s inevitable that, even though I know exactly where they are, I will run over some of the many potholes that are determined to wreck my tires. This is Memphis. 

My 901 pride is a culmination of 18 years of living in this city, getting to know all its quirks on a personal level. As a lifelong Memphian, I fully embrace Memphis, Memphis, which refers to the idea that Memphis is different enough as a city to stand apart from the rest of Tennessee. This is a concept born from a meme but accepted by many, including students from White Station with their own 901 pride.

“I feel like Memphis is far more unique than any other city in Tennessee,” Aryaman Jaiswal (12) said as he discussed the level of diversity found in Memphis that is not reflected in other parts of Tennessee. 

Jaiswal plays the bass guitar for White Station’s jazz band, and living in Memphis has complemented his passion for the instrument artfully. 

“Honestly, more than anything, it’s like the music, like music is a big part of my life, and there’s a lot of opportunities here that I would not have in a lot of places,” Jaiswal said. 

On the other hand, there are some who reject Memphis, Memphis.

“Memphis is separate, but it’s still in Tennessee. We might have different political views, but it’s still in Tennessee. And Tennessee is the same all across,” McKenzie Cornell (11) said. 

Cornell, like many others, maintains that Memphis is politically, socially and culturally part of Tennessee. Just as many people would disagree. In fact, in a poll held on the Scroll’s Instagram, out of 122 people, 50% voted Memphis, Memphis, and 50% voted Memphis, Tenn. 

Among those who voted for Memphis, Memphis is Kaleb Gardner (10).

“I’ve been in Nashville and every other part of TN, and half of them are straight country music. And we’re everything else besides that,” Gardner said. 

Whether you agree with Gardner and Jaiswal or Cornell, at the end of the day, this is our city, and we love it. Potholes and all.