The Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated is now the National Civil Rights Museum. The first exhibit room is titled “A Culture of Resistance” and begins with this: “Slavery in America lasted nearly 250 years and held captive at least 12 generations of black people. But as long as slavery existed, so did resistance. In fighting back, people of African descent compelled America to be truer to what it professed on paper “That all men are created equal”. Blacks, the exhibit points out “defied oppression with words and weapons, everyday actions, and impassioned agitation”. Here are a few of the resisters:
From that exhibit you move through many of the key moments of the civil rights movement until you end, in respectful silence, at the room where Dr. King spent his last hours alive, room 306 and where he died, room 307. I felt a powerful mix of emotions here that included both sadness and resolve.