Races: Memphis: Pre-Summer Blues

Down the years since W. C. Handy midwifed the blues, his city of Memphis has been a passable paradigm of racial harmony and a pathfinder of Negro progress. Memphis schools are integrated. Its black citizens have voted since the early 1900s. Its white and black lawyers have been in the fore front of civil rights campaigns. So amicable has its climate been that Memphis police have never faced a serious charge of brutality. Yet last week Memphis simmered on the rim of racial rampage—a premonition in microcosm of next summer's national threat.

Step by Step. That summer heat, in...