Memphis

Possibly the most chilling site of the trip was Slavehaven, the Underground Railroad Museum. The exhibits tell the story of Tennessee’s largest slave-trading city. Memphis and one family that helped hundreds of slave escape in boats on the Mississippi River. The last stop was the massive and comprehensive National Civil Rights Museum, which is built around the former Lorraine Motel, King’s Memphis office.

 

Reflections about Memphis
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“At the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum in Memphis, I physically felt a weight on my heart listening to our tour guide tell us about places that existed in the U.S. like “negro depot” and seeing the old advertisements for the selling and trading of slaves. This museum reminded me that the story for civil and human rights started for African and African American people in the U.S. long before the 1950s and it is a very important piece of this history.” — Lyndsey Andersen

“Everything we learned on the trip tied together at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Seeing the actual hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, was surreal. I felt like I had gone back in time. I learned about segregation, prejudice, and discrimination affecting even the smallest child.  The “Doll Test,” exhibit showed how African American children would choose a white doll instead of a black doll. It was a harsh reality of the time. Society has come far, but societal views still have far to go.” — Shikha Kambil

“As the trip came to an end we visited the National Civil Rights Museum where we saw images of a jail cell crammed with students who were my age at the time. Their crime was marching for civil rights, rights everyone should have. Some were held for days, others for weeks. I want to carry on their legacy by fighting for change and facing today’s challenges, which seem too familiar to the past. I agree with Martin Luther KinJr. ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ ”  — Akosau Jah