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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Summer Avenue, Memphis


Roger Watson

High Point Funeral Home

Roger Watson was born in rural Tennessee in 1938. He and his mother moved to Memphis in 1947. Watson has spent much of his life on Summer Avenue. He graduated from Messick High School in 1956 and enlisted in the army. Watson came of age as a musician in Memphis. Over the years he continued to perform around the country as well as in Memphis clubs, some located on Summer Avenue.

Watson has had a long career as a funeral director. Since 2013, he has been the Director at High Point Funeral Home. The mortuary opened on Summer Avenue in 2005. Over the years, the building had seen many iterations including a Kawasaki dealership, steak house, and a church. The many changes of the High Point Funeral Home building reflect the history of Summer Avenue.

Date of interview:

Simone Delerme

Houston Cofield

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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