Our last civil rights museum was the big one – the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally, we planned to visit this museum at the beginning of the trip. But due to our multiple car breakdowns, we moved it to the end of the trip.
This museum would have been great at the beginning of the trip because it provides a precise timeline and perfect overview of each of the key events that have come to define the civil rights movement. Since we’ve actually visited most of these sites at this point in the trip, it was more of a nice refresher course and sometimes even offered a little new information. The audio tour was very well done, and kept our interest through this large museum.
The museum is located inside the former Lorraine Motel, and the most moving and historically significant location in the museum is the room and balcony on which Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The museum has renovated the balcony, restored MLK’s room and you actually enter to the left of the original structure that was the motel.
Everyone should visit the museum at least once to more thoroughly understand the struggles of our fathers and grandfathers toward the society we see today. It’s not perfect, but our country has made substantial strides to true equality and to understand from where we’ve come provides the perspective that we sometimes need.