April 16, 2010
The Variety of Our Lives: WC teacher and students go South to follow the course of the Civil Rights movement
Memphis is also home to what I would argue is one of the best museums of history and culture I have ever visited anywhere, including in Washingotn D.C., New York City, and capitals of Europe and Asia.
This is the National Civil Rights Museum, which is built around the Lorraine Motel, where Civil Rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The museum takes you room by room through a chronological history of the Civil Rights movement, weaving in a range of themes and using original artifacts and documents to back up this complicated story. You wind up in the room where King stayed his final night, then you can visit the rooming house across an alley, where King's assassin, James Earl Ray, fired the fatal shot. The information on King's assassination is presented like a murder thriller, with conspiracy theories, thrown in.
Honey and the St. Joseph Notre Dame students also were impressed by the museum's tremendous presentation of this time in American history. There, they had the honor of meeting Rev. Billy Kyles, who was with King when he was killed. "Rev. Kyles' message of hope and keeping Dr. King's dream alive was the perfect way to end our journey," Honey wrote.