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I don’t know if I want to awake that long in Tennessee. Bill Hicks, Sane Man
I was in Nashville, Tennessee last year. After the show I went to a Waffle House. I’m not proud of it. I was hungry. And I’m alone; I’m eating and I’m reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me: ‘Hey, whatcha readin’ for?’ Isn’t that the weirdest fuckin’ question you’ve ever heard? Not what am I reading, but what am I reading FOR? Well, goddamnit, ya stumped me! Why do I read? Well ... hmmm ... I dunno ... I guess I read for a lot of reasons and the main one is so I don’t end up being a fuckin’ waffle waitress. ibid.
Believe it or not, I was just given an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee. Dolly Parton
Anti-black violence erupts throughout the South … Memphis, Tennessee: a mob butchers 50 former slaves and burns close to 100 black homes and churches to the ground. Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War, History 2006
A hidden world of classified nuclear facilities and secret cities built inside America. 400,000 people were part of this world. But only a handful really knew the truth. It took up half a million acres of land, saw the construction of the largest building in the world, and cost billions of dollars. All for one purpose: to bring an end to the Second World War by building the world’s first atomic bomb … The lost world of the Manhattan Project. Lost Worlds: Secret A Bomb Factories, History 2007
In 1941, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was still a remote farming area. Within two years according to classified plans and maps it had been transformed into a secret city. It was going to be home to one of the biggest secrets in the Second World War. The US government pretended it didn’t exist. Because this was part of Project X, the Manhattan Project, the race to build the first atomic bomb. ibid.
This city breeds killers. One gang in particular has drenched these streets in blood: LMG. On the Mississippi delta its watchword is Kill or be Killed. Gangland s4e5: Kill or be Killed, History 2009
Memphis is also one of the most dangerous cities in America. In 2007 according to the FBI Memphis was the most violent city in the United States. ibid.
LMG: Love Murdering Gangsters. ibid.
The LMG’s most hated rivals, the Gangster Disciples. ibid.
Those forgotten people enjoyed generation after generation of hopelessness. ibid.
The district deteriorated even further in the ’80s when crack cocaine arrived. ibid.
By 1993 the LMG were running the streets. ibid.
The LMGs identify themselves with the colour red. ibid.
The LMGs and G-Train decided it was time to kill or be killed. The LMG were involved in a turf war with the Gangster Disciples and anyone else who threatened their drug profits. ibid.
There’s a war raging in the music city [Nashville]. One gang is taking on all-comers. And there’s no limit to their violence. They kill for sport. This is Brown Pride. Gangland s5e11: Hunt & Kill
Brown Pride, or BP, is notorious for beatings, murders, robberies and getting high. ibid.
Memphis, Tennessee: ‘There’s 15,000 to 20,000 active gang members in the city of Memphis.’ Gangland s7e11: Road Warriors, Ray Lepone
One of the biggest gangs is the Travelling Vice Lords, the TVL. More than 500 strong, they’re also the city’s most violent. ibid.
Their biggest rivals – the Gangster Disciples. ibid.
Shake-n-bake is fuelling a meth epidemic. Users turn into amateur cooks. Pseudoephedrine converts to meth by a toxic chemical reaction. Drugs Inc s4e10: Stashville Tennessee, National Geographic 2013
A chemical reaction in the bottle creates a build-up of deadly ammonia gas. ibid.
The number of meth labs is escalating dangerously. ibid.
Pain clinics have opened up across Tennessee. ibid.
South Memphis, Tennessee: Paranoid and trigger-happy drug dealers gather to protect their turf. Local drug gangs are under siege from local rivals looking to rip them off. Drugs Inc s5e5: Memphis Mayhem
A new breed of independent heroin dealer is taking over. ibid.
In 2010 Tennessee busted 2,157 meth labs – a national record. Drugs Inc Compilation: Breakdown, National Geographic 2015