Friday, July 10, 2009

The National Civil Rights Museum

I've always been interested in the Civil Rights Movement. Even back when I was in high school and my AP American History teacher asked us to list the 5 American history topics that we'd most like to discuss after the AP exam I shared with my classmates the wish to investigate the CRM more deeply. In fact, it was 2nd on my list...right after studying the Italian Mafia and the history of the mob in America!! That all changed, however, when I went on Providence Day School's civil rights tour for teaching back in August 2004. As soon as our bus pulled up to the Lorraine Motel where the National Civil Rights Museum now sits I felt a deep connection the CRM...and the depth of this connection continues today. Its really hard to put into words what its like to visit the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically assassinated. My emotions today were different today than they were 5 years ago. 5 years ago I thought about the loss of one of America's greatest leaders and orators. Today, I thought about Dr. King's 4 children and the emptiness that they must have felt to lose their dad at such a young age (39). As a father of three, would I be willing to put my life on the line every day for a cause much greater than me? That's the courage and commitment of Dr. King in a nutshell...the willingness to stand up for what he believed in knowing that doing so would probably result in his own death.
If you haven't visited the NCRM, its a must see. I've been learning about the CRM for well over a decade and teaching about it for 8 years, and I still learned a ton of new information. Its a special place that fills your heart and mind with a wealth of knowledge.

Tonight its Rendezvous for famous Memphis-style ribs followed by Beale Street for live music. Should be awesome. Tomorrow I'm headed to Little Rock, AR to visit Central High School and the Clinton Presidential Library.

A note on the pictures: I was quite proud of myself for creating a video, but I couldn't get it to download. After downloading for 90 minutes, I decided to give i've attached a picture from the NCRM instead.

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