National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis
The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on 4th April, 1968.
The Lorraine was one of only a few hotels to which African-American travellers could enjoy overnight accommodations during the segregated eras leading up to the late 1960s in America. Although the museum pays tribute and homage to the legacy of Dr. King, it is devoted to the thousands of people who were part of the entire American Civil Rights Movement from 1619 to present.
The museum chronicles key episodes of the Movement, examines today's global civil and human rights issues, provokes thoughtful debate and serves as a catalyst for social positive change providing a focus of national remembrance. The museum's latest renovations saw it transformed to an immersive, interactive experience with 40+ films, touch screens and listening posts.
Visitors are transported back in time to explore galleries detailing the brutal and barbaric slave trade, the pernicious Jim Crow "separate but equal" laws which institutionalised racial segregation across America for more than 100 years, the legal battles to gain equality in employment and education as well as the sacrifice and bravery of so many activists and citizens.
Step aboard a vintage bus to hear the altercation between a public transit worker in Montgomery and Rosa Parks. Sit at a segregated lunch counter and feel the anger of a white mob.
The '1963 March on Washington' exhibit immerses the visitor into a life-like setting while an audio excerpt plays from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
Be sure to visit the Legacy Building, a former boarding house across the road from the Lorraine Motel, where James Earl Ray lodged before the assassination and investigates his case and ensuing conspiracy theories of who really killed Dr. King?
Visitors should allow at least three hours for a quality visit and experience.
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