A few months ago, I decided to make a “Last Summer in Memphis and I Must Do These Things” type of list. I’ve been checking it off(sorta), and I finally went to three places that not only everyone should go to but also Memphians: Arcade restaurant, National Civil Rights Museum, and Sun Studios. I have hung my head in shame that I had not up until two weeks ago been to these places in my 28 years in M-town. Oops. Maybe I was sick the day my class went on the NCRM field trip? Who knows? My friend Anna was in town for the wedding that we were in that weekend, so we decided to be bop down to South Main to eat at the Arcade(breakfast…nom nom nom), walked to a few shops, and then went to the Civil Rights Museum.
I was blown away. So impressed with the movie clip that is shown before we start the tour-I’ve heard the story of how MLK was killed at the Lorraine Motel, but never with this much detail. Anna and I bought the headphones and headed off throughout the museum. Many aspects of the Civil Rights museum I never knew or had forgotten since high-school American history and was really pleased with how much museum has collected during this time period. Anna and I both remarked on how short MLK was in one picture-we are weird. The section of Bull Connor and his asshole cops using hoses in Alabama was really hard to watch on the TV screens.
Across the street is more of the museum that houses all things James Earl Ray. Last summer, I read Hampton Sides’s “Hellhound on his Trail” about Ray and leading up to the assassination, so I was aware of what I was going to see in the archive cases and it was chilling to stand in the room where he aimed the gun…or did he?:) I hope to return soon and remember.