Electronic Theses and Dissertations


A Place of Happy Retreat: Benefiting Locals and Visitors Through Sustainable Tourism Practices at Beale Street, Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum


Cathryn Stout

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies

First Advisor

Charles R. Wilson

Second Advisor

Adam Gussow

Third Advisor

Zandria Robinson


This interdisciplinary work examines Beale Street, Graceland, and the National Civil Rights Museum through the lens of sustainable tourism. It specifically examines the value of integrating the culture and history of the host community into the attraction, and using tourist attractions to provide personal and economic development for locals. Chapter One is titled "'Can I Live' on Beale Street," Chapter Two is titled "Opening the Gates of Graceland," and Chapter Three is titled "Creating a Public Forum at the National Civil Rights Museum." Memphis has been predominantly African American since 1986, and African American history was significant in the creation of each attraction. Thus, incorporating the concerns and culture of African American Memphians is essential to the sustainability of each site. Guided by measures at the National Civil Rights Museum and other tourist destinations, this work proposes sustainable tourism practices that could help strengthen relationships between African American Memphians and the tourist attractions Beale Street and Graceland. In turn, these sustainable measures could increase the dollars and time spent by African American Memphians at these tourists attractions.

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