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National Civil Rights Museum Informative - What about my people?

Review by 72021 on 2010-08-11
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- I visited the "National Civil Rights Museum" in Memphis. The Museum was built on/into the old Loraine motel. The very motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. The motel facade looked awesome.

The sign says 'national civil rights' but actually the museum is totally dedicated to chronicling the African American struggle for equality in the United States. I figured from the name it would chronicle other groups struggle for civil rights like your gypsies, Irish, Italians and chicks. Sadly that's not the case unless they happen to be African American chicks or gypsies.

Also ironically enough this museum dedicated to the equality of all Americans segregates its guests on Mondays by those who are natives of Tennessee and those who aren't with the Tennessee group getting free admission while the out of state folks are charged about twelve bucks. I found that funny.

Cruising through the museum is like being in an encyclopedia. There's a lot of reading. I mean tons of reading. Way too many 'poster board' type stuff and way too little actual artifacts, period pictures/articles and exhibits. Very disappointing. Also the museum wallowed way too much in the victimization debbie downer stuff and not enough in the positive gains and the evolution of African American's civil rights. Bottom line I didn't really walk away with anything I didn't already know and it wasn't that inspiring.

Also you can visit the boarding house across the street where the shot was fired that took Martin Luther Kings life. That was actually pretty interesting as they did a good job of preserving/restoring the assassin's room.

I like the concept of the museum. I love the restoration/preservation of the Loraine Motel but as far as the museum goes the place could seriously use some help and ARTIFACTS. A museum without a healthy amount artifacts is nothing more than a glorified wikipedia page.

On a scale of one to ten I give the National Civil Rights a 4. What say you?
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-08-11
Posted by goduke on 2010-08-11:
Haven't made it there yet, Stew, but thanks for the great review. Sounds like they've got some work to do to make the experience interactive and engaging for the audience.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-11:
I almost forgot. The first exhibit is a viewing of a short film called 'The Witness'. It's a firsthand account of the MLK assassination as told by Reverend Billy Kyles who was standing next to MLK when he was assassinated. He told of the days leading up to and the day of the shooting. Outstanding film almost worth the out-of-state admission price.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-08-11:
I say, thank you for NOT taking me on vacation with you. Just once, it's nice to see that leaving me behind was a good idea.
Thank you Stew...Thank you!
Posted by MRM on 2010-08-11:
Thanks for the tidbit,Stew, as I did not know about the former motel.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-11:
Nice review Stew.

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