Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cool Trip to Memphis

Hey, so, Keegan and I went to Memphis this weekend. I love this city! The one time Keegan and I went to Memphis before we hung out on Beale Street eating good food and listening cool blues music. This time we opted to do something different. After taking care of business we checked out the National Civil Rights Museum. Fascinating! The museum has been constructed around and encompasses the Lorraine Hotel. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis mediating a strike of black sanitation workers. He was staying at the Lorraine Motel, one of the few places that would accept black lodgers, and was assassinated on its balcony. The facade of the hotel, including the balcony, and the room in which he stayed have been preserved. The museum itself traces the history of black Americans, their struggles and their triumphs. The exhibits are set up in timeline fashion. It is a profound presentation of American history - early to contemporary. Also, interestingly, there is a woman, Jackie Smith, who has sat outside peacefully protesting the museum since the ground was broken in 1987. I was unable to speak with her during this particular visit but her signs stated that she was protesting the museum because she believed that it was gentrification of the civil rights movement and did not honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. Definitely something to think about. I look forward to speaking with her next time I am at the museum. Short of a tragedy, I am sure that she will be there. As of the day that we visited, October 5, she had been protesting for 21 years and 255 days. It was a fabulous trip. I love road trips and I love spending this kind of one-on-one time with Keegan. Next trip to Memphis will involve a tour of Sun Studios - something to look forward to!!!!

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