Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Phi Beta Sigma

Marker ID:  
Location: at the Robert Church Park on Beale St, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 08.341    W 090° 02.848
  35.13901666    -90.04746666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMT59P


Phi Beta Sigma

Native Tennessean Abram Langston Taylor, near this spot, 423 Beale Avenue, conceived the idea of establishing an international organization of college and professional men dedicated to “Culture for Service and Service For Humanity”. On January 9, 1914 at Howard University, together with Leonard F. Morse and Charles I Brown, Taylor became the principal founder of the organization that he had envisioned.

In his own words, Taylor related: “One dull summer day in 1910, I paused for a while at Bumpus Beale Avenue Grocery to pick up the latest news from the Squash Center...In conversation with a young man recently graduated from Howard...he dwelt at length on the activities of Greek Letter fraternities there. His talk gave me an idea, and from that day, Phi Beta Sigma was in the making...”

Tennessee Historical Commission