Civil Rights Museum
Luther Brown @ Delta State University
||Sunday, February 24
the Bus 2002: Day 3
- The Memphis Public Library
- National Civil Rights Museum
- Drive 118 miles to Cleveland MS in the Mississippi
- Dinner with Luther Brown, head of the Delta State University
Center for Culture and Learning.
of our group started the day visiting the newly
rennovated Memphis Public Library. The artwork outside
the museum created some controversy during its unveiling
late last year because it includes the words
"Workers of the world unite" within a collage
of influential images and ideas from history.
The sculptural exhibit outside the library
inspiration in the non-violent philosphy of Gandhi, Satya
this get in there?
I am with the offending phrase. "I am not now, nor
ever have been, a member of the communist party."
Civil Rights Museum
we visted the National Civil Rights Museum located at the
former Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King
Jr.'s assasination. We also spoke with Jackie Smith, a
former tenant of the Lorraine Motel, who has maintained a
22-hour-per day vigil outside the museum for 14 years
because she believes it unworthy of the memory of Dr.
Visit Ms. Smith's website at fulfullthedream.net
are some members of the class discussing the exhibits we
had just seen. (Cameras were not allowed within the
Smith protests across the street from the museum.
group talking with Ms. Smith.
we are a bit au natural.
An excerpt from
Libby Pozolo's journal:
. . . Right now I
am in Cleveland, Mississippi. The National Civil Rights
Museum was way cool! It was basically a bunch of
timelines and various exhibits summarizing black history
and the civil rights movement from slavery all the way up
to King's assassination. After you walk through the
entire museum it leads up to the actual room and balcony
where King was shot. I found it to be very moving to be
standing in the same spot that Martin Luther King, Jr.
stood when his life was ended. The NCRM has recreated the
room so that it looks the way it did when King was
staying there. Then we went and talked with Jackie Smith.
She has a booth set up on the corner across from the
Lorraine Motel. She has been sitting in that spot for
over 14 years! Ms. Smith is protesting the fact that poor
people were kicked out of their housing in order for the
hotel to be transformed into a museum. Some of her points
were understandable and made sense to me. She feels that
King would not have wanted people to be evicted in this
fashion in an effort to commemorate him. This woman is a
prime example of someone who feels so passionately about
something that she is willing to devote her entire life
to her cause.
Today was a beautiful day for driving. The weather was
warm, sunny, and gorgeous. Upon arriving in Cleveland, we
met Luther Brown for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. He
is going to be taking us around the Delta the next couple
days. He seems to know a lot about the history of the
Delta as well as what the current situation is here. It
should be quite interesting. . .