Carolyn Michael-Banks, known to some as “Queen,” is the owner and founder of A Tour of Possibilities, LLC, an African American History Tour of Memphis, TN. She is a native of the Bronx, New York and lived there until she attended Clark University in Worcester, MA. Her degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology set the foundation for a career in Social Work. After spending two years in Protective Services, it was clear to her that this career path was not for her; therefore, it was time to make a change.
She chose to move to Washington D.C. where her sister lived and rejoined a sightseeing company where she had worked during two summer breaks while in college. Being in an environment where people are normally in a good mood (tourism), learning new information on a daily basis and being able to meet people from around the world, was a perfect fit. She quickly rose through the ranks and became General Manager of one of the largest themed-sightseeing tour companies in the country.
During her tenure as General Manager, she made some changes in the tour script that included information about the contributions of African Americans which were woefully missing. The changes made were not readily accepted by the owners of the company. In spite of what “history” should have been included in the script, the company moved her to develop and launch operations in Savannah, GA; and then Philadelphia, PA where she did historical research, wrote tour scripts and trained tour guides.
Soon after relocating to Philadelphia, PA, the company downsized and she found herself jobless in a city where she knew no one except the people she hired and trained. What initially appeared to be a devastating blow, ended up being the best thing that could have happened. She not only had the time to create her own tour company, A Tour of Possibilities, but while working at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the man of her dreams, who lived in Memphis, made her an offer she chose not to refuse. In 2000, after a 2 1/2 year long distance relationship, she was swept off her feet and moved to Memphis, TN and married.
A Tour of Possibilities, LLC will celebrate it’s 2nd anniversary in August 2016. Carolyn is presently a member of: the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Black Business Association, National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, National Museum of African American History, Better Business Bureau, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Greater Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.