Here are a few pictures from my visit to the Lorraine Hotel & Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. I highly recommend a visit.
The museum seems to be frozen in time, with old cars in the front, and a very 50s/60s vibe.
Where this wreath hangs, on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on this balcony.
Further into the tour, you pass the room where he stayed here during his visit to lead black union workers in a strike for fair wages. The room is just as it was on that day, and the signs call for silence. The weight of it makes a deep impression.
The walk outside has stations that tell about the strike and the workers.
Inside, the exhibits tell about the struggle for civil rights from slavery to Dr. King’s day, and the present. This sculpture is a slaver selling a woman and her baby.
And this one, in the same room, shows how cramped the holds were in the slave ships.
And here is the bus Rosa Parks sat on when she refused to go to the back.
A sculpture of her inside.
These sculptures depict lunch-counter sit-ins that were organized all over the south, including many places in Tennessee.
And this was the bus that was attacked and burned on the famous “Freedom Rides.”
I came away from this museum with the weight of privilege on me. With modern-day police fatalities and one in three black men falling victim to the industrial prison complex, we have made strides toward Beloved Community, but we are not there yet. We are still waiting on the arc of justice.
If you’re in Memphis, definitely give the Lorraine a visit.