The Sum of Us

Memphis, TN: The sweetest water in the world

In 2020, Memphis residents began to hear rumors that a company called Plains All American was set to build a 49-mile oil pipeline through the city. At first, the pipeline appeared inevitable, planned to run through a “sacrifice zone” of all-Black neighborhoods that had already been poisoned by nearby heavy industry. But when local environmentalists discovered the pipeline would threaten Memphis’ prized drinking water, they joined forces with a charismatic 26-year old, Justin J. Pearson, to build a multi-racial coalition that united Black and white neighborhoods in this segregated city to protect their hometown’s treasured water. TRANSCRIPT: HERE CREDITS: Host and Creator: Heather McGhee Original Music and Theme Song by: Thee Sacred Souls

Producers: Cassim Shepard, Ryan Kailath, Emilce Quiroz, Joaquin Cotler and Juan Diego Ramirez, with help from Liliana Ruiz, Sophia Lo, Susanna Kemp and Alissa Vladimir Senior Producers: Nicole Rothwell, Jeanne Montalvo, and Fernanda Echavarri Editors: Sandy Rattley and Maria Garcia Mix Engineers: Stephanie Lebow and Julia Caruso Researchers: Lynn Kanter and Carolyn Lipka Executive Producer for Futuro Studios: Marlon Bishop Executive producers for Higher Ground: Mukta Mohan, Dan Fierman, Anna Holmes, and Janae Marable Editorial assistant for Higher Ground: Jenna Levin Executive producers for Spotify: Daniel Ek, Dawn Ostroff, Julie McNamara and Corinne Gilliard

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