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About the Tri-State Defender

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The Tri-State Defender is a weekly newspaper and daily online news resource published in Memphis, Tennessee, serving the African-American communities in Memphis and nearby areas of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. It bills itself as "The Mid-South's Best Alternative Newspaper".

The Tri-State Defender is powered by BEST Media Properties, Inc., a Tennessee Corporation established by current TSD President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II.

Our publication's editorial leader - Executive Editor, Dr. Karanja A. Ajanaku ensures journalistic integrity and manages content from a roster of well respected African-American writers including: Dr. Timothy Moore, Lucy Shaw, Myron Mays, Kam Williams, Carlee McCUllough, and Kam Williams.

We report on local relevant content effecting Memphis Tennessee and it's metropolitan area as well as relevant news affecting the African-American community. Our subjects include metro news, sports, entertainment, business, national news, opinion, and more.

TSD resets Holiday Parade


The TSDmemphis.com Holiday Parade – sponsored by The New Tri-State Defender – has been reset for Saturday, Dec. 15.

The parade, which signals the return of a tradition to the downtown area, originally was set for last Saturday, but was reset after thundershowers put a damper on plans.

TSD President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith II said the parade, which will begin at 9:30, will go on this Saturday rain or shine.

The parade will be the inaugural parade to travel the recently designated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and will be in support of Olympic Cares Toy Drive. In addition, it will feature special recognition for the state champion Tigers of Whitehaven High School. Whitehaven's football team won the TSSAA state title in Division 1, 6A in Cookeville, Tenn., on Dec. 1.

"The way they represented the city and the excitement they brought to the city deserves to be recognized," said Smith, who also is a Whitehaven graduate.

The parade will begin at the intersection of Fourth St. and Beale Street, head west on Beale to Second St., proceed south on Second St. to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., then east on MLK to Third St., head north on Third St. to Beale Street Alley, and then east back to Fourth St., where it will culminate.

Downtown has not had a holiday parade downtown in several years. Smith said many in the community have been looking forward to the return of just such an event.

"It is always great to bring kids and families out to celebrate during this time of year and what better place to do it than the heart of downtown and historic Beale Street where our offices just happen to be."

Organization and lining up for the parade starts at the corner of Fourth and Beale streets at 8 a.m. Christmas songs and entertainment will flow as the participating groups and floats are lined up for the now 9:30 a.m. start.

Registration IS NOW REOPEN!! Groups desiring to participate can register by calling 901-679-8545 and secure their position in the line-up.

Early arrival is encouraged for parade watchers to secure their spot on the streets of Beale and or MLK Jr. Avenue.

There is no cost to participate.

Attendees are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for the Olympic Cares Toy Drive. The toy drive is sponsored by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Frito Lay, Cricket Communications, Mapco and The New Tri-State Defender. Participants and parade-watchers are asked to donate a new toy to the toy drive, which officially ends on Dec. 10th but continues throughout the holiday season. The toys will be given away to various youth focused non-profit agencies .

For more information on how to participate in the parade, contact Nina Johnson at 901-679-8545, call the TSD offices at 901-523-1818.

  • Written by Special to the Tri-State Defender
  • Category: Tri-State Defender

Advertise With Tri-State Defender

advertise-with-us.jpgThe Tri-State Defender is an established great brand with significant historical meaning and respect throughout the Greater Memphis community. We have embarked on bold new strategies for growth and impact including high touch, high impact event marketing that allows our partners an opportunity to engage with current and new customers to build brand awareness and increase brand loyalty by leveraging the long standing positive reputation of the Tri-State Defender as a trusted source of information.

Attached you will find our advertising opportunities for strategic marketing investment for your company. We have packaged opportunities that maximize exposure and return on the dollars you allocate. Our events and associated communications allow you to reach thousands with your messaging and brand. We have worked hard to build upon the strong standing legacy of the TSD within the African American community and beyond. We know that there is strong value to your company in being associated with our events, our print newspaper, our digital platforms, social media platforms and new and developing platforms such as specialty publications, radio and television programming.

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Our History

The Tri-State Defender is one of the longest, continuously-published African-American papers in the United States. It was very active in the Civil Rights Movement and is aimed at the African-American market not only in Memphis, but also in nearby areas of Arkansas and Mississippi.

The Tri-State Defender was founded by John Sengtstacke, publisher of the flagship paper Chicago Defender and served as publisher of the Tri-State Defender until his death in May, 1997. The Tri-State Defender is part of the Real Times LLC newspapers. Other publications in the Real Times newspaper chain include the Chicago Defender, Michigan Front Page, the Michigan Chronicle, and the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Since its beginning in 1951, the Tri-State Defender has been regarded as a central component of the Memphis community. Today, our paper continues this legacy by strengthening the voice of the African-American community.

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