I absolutely loved the National Civil Rights Museum-At the Lorraine Hotel. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee and it is a historical site that has been in existence for 25 years. Expect to spend several hours in the museum, it will allow you to take your time and explore all of the exhibits. The museum evokes a variety of emotions from sadness, anger, happiness, joy etc. Below are photos of the various exhibits:
A Culture of Resistance
1st Image: Georgia’s Bank of Commerce, 1861, A pic of a dollar bill with Africa American slaves at work.
4th Image: A slave master auctioning off a slave and her child.
5th Image: Slaves chained together on a slave ship.
The Rise of Jim Crow:
During the Jim Crow Era segregation was legal until 1965, African Americans were no longer slaves but they were still experiencing harsh treatment from there white counterparts. AA often used the church for multiple reasons such as religious events, social gatherings, and political movements.
During this time AA believed that education was important but they lacked basic necessities in classrooms. Eventually they integrated but it was very difficult task. It was so bad that they had to be guided by army and police. As as result Historically Black Colleges were formed! Shout out to my HBCU- Howard University!
At this exhibit, you can listen to various peoples experiences during Jim Crow via telephone.
The Year they Walked: Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956
During this time Colored folks were asked to sit in the back of the bus. On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks was asked to move from her seat because the white section of the bus was filled to capacity. Ms. Parks refused to give up her seat, due to her refusal to move the bus driver called the police and she was arrested. Soon after, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was formed. African Americans rallied and refused to ride the bus for an entire year. The bus system eventually gave in due to losing thousands of dollars.
Did you know that Rosa Parks was not the first person to refuse to move from her seat? Claudette Colvin, was one of the first people who refused to give up her seat. The NAACP did not want her to be the representative because she was an unwed pregnant teenager. NAACP thought Ms. Parks would be a great representative during the Civil Rights Movement.
Standing up by sitting down!
We are prepared to die: The Freedom Rides
Freedom riders wanted to ride into southern states to challenge the segregation law regarding buses and trains. Although the law stated it was illegal to segregate on the bus, city officials did not enforce the rules. 14 black and white freedom riders rode in Alabama. The Ku Klux Klan slashed tires, bombed the bus and closed the doors to prevent the freedom riders from getting off the bus. Somehow the riders managed to escape but were beaten after escaping from the bus. These photos represent the bombed bus. This photo made me appreciative because I rode the Grey Hound bus from Nashville to Memphis and didn’t have to worry about the KKK possibly trying to kill me due to color of my skin.
For Jobs and Freedom: March on Washington 1963
Martin Luther King Jr., said his famous speech”I have a Dream” In Washington DC at the National Monument. Do you think Dr. King Jr. dream has been fulfilled?
Selma Voting Rights: 1965
If you have not watched Selma, please rent the movie! It shows the march on Edmund Pettus Bridge and it talks about Bloody Sunday (AA were injured and killed during a non-violent protest) This exhibit is especially important as we have an election coming up . I don’t think many people understand the sacrifices that were made so that I and others can vote. Go vote! “Some people say my vote doesn’t matter”. Imagine if people had that mentality 50 years ago, we maybe still fighting for our voting rights.
What do we want: Black Power
The goal of the Black Panther Party was to challenge police brutality and monitor the police in Oakland Ca. Black Panther Party continues to be a very controversial topic.
Memphis Sanitation Strike 1968
The Memphis city sanitation workers worked under unfair and dangerous conditions. When it rained Black workers were only allowed to seek shelter in the compressor where the garbage was held. As a result 2 workers, E. Cole and R.Walker were killed. 1300 Sanitation Workers walked off the job in protest. Martin Luther King was apart of the movement and made his last speech at Mason Temple to show his support!
Kings Last Hours
The Legacy Building
Inspiring Greatness through Words and Deeds: Exhibit by Baret Boisson
All Pictures were taken by me at the National Civil Rights Museum.