Your Shelby County Register’s Office is celebrating Black History month this year by shining the spotlight on some of Memphis and Shelby County’s most impactful and inspiring individuals .

From elected officials to thought leaders, Register Ford and her administration not only pays tribute to those Local Legends who have helped to shape the rich history of Memphis and Shelby County, but proudly presents to you the Shelby County Archives.

Our 2020 Honorees:

Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr.
Floyd Bonner has dedicated over 40 years of his life to Law Enforcement. In 2018, he not only became the 47th sheriff of Shelby County, but the first African American to be elected in Shelby County history. His father Floyd Bonner, Sr was one of the first African American police officers in Memphis. He hopes his legacy is that he left the sheriff’s department better than it was when he took over.

Dr. L. LaSimba Gray
Dr. L. LaSimba Gray is the retired Pastor of the historical New Sardis Missionary Baptist Church where he served in that capacity for 25 years. No stranger to civil rights, he successfully led a group of activists in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the run-off provision in Memphis elections. This led to the historical 1991 elections, with Dr. Willie W. Herenton becoming the first African American to be elected as mayor of Memphis.

David & Yvonne Acey: Africa in April
Dr. David L. Acey, Sr. is a retired Assistant Professor of African American Rhetoric & Interracial Communication at the University of Memphis. Acey and his wife Yvonne B. Acey, a former educator at Northside High School, are co-founders of the Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival, where they serve as Co-Executive Directors. The annual festival honors a different African country each year. Africa in April is now in its 34th year and continues to grow.

Calvin Anderson: The New Tri-State Defender
Calvin Anderson is a longtime public servant of Memphis and Shelby County. He is a retired Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff for Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN, where became the first African American to serve in an executive role with the organization. Anderson is currently the President of Best Media Properties, Inc, and serves as the publisher of the New Tri-State Defender.

Dr. Beverly Bond: Historian
Memphis Historian Dr. Beverly G. Bond is an Associate Professor of History and Director of African American Studies at the University of Memphis. She is the recipient of 14 local, state and regional teaching awards. Her book, Memphis in Black and White, was selected as Best Book on Memphis History in 2004 by the Memphis Historical Society. She is involved with such organizations as the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, and the Center for Research on Women.

Dr. Beverly Bond: Historian
Memphis Historian Dr. Beverly G. Bond is an Associate Professor of History and Director of African American Studies at the University of Memphis. She is the recipient of 14 local, state and regional teaching awards. Her book, Memphis in Black and White, was selected as Best Book on Memphis History in 2004 by the Memphis Historical Society. She is involved with such organizations as the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, and the Center for Research on Women.

Shelandra Y. Ford
Shelby County Register of Deeds, Shelandra Ford was elected in August 2018 after winning two competitive elections. She is the first elected African-American and first female elected to this position. Ms. Ford earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Management and Organizational Development from Bethel College. Since taking office, Register Ford has saved taxpayers over $100,000 in contractual services.

Wanda Halbert
Wanda Halbert was elected Shelby County Clerk in August 2018, becoming first African-American woman elected to serve in that capacity. She was elected to the Memphis City Council 2007 through 2015 after serving as a legislator on the Memphis Board of Education 2000 through 2007. Ms. Halbert was previously employed as an administrator over 33 years in the Information Technology Division at FedEx Services,

Temiika D. Gipson
In August 2018, Temiika Gipson became the first female, and African American to be elected as the Clerk of Circuit Court. Having worked in both the General Sessions and Criminal Courts, Ms. Gipson has served the citizens of Shelby County since November 1993.  She also holds a Bachelors of Arts in Ministry from the International College of Ministry. Ms. Gipson is also a published author and ordained minister.