Getting on/off a motorcoach; approximately 90 minutes. Walking and standing at museum for at least 2-3 hours. Walking 0.7 miles from museum to hotel, or getting on/off a trolley.
In the hotel lobby, we will enjoy a buffet breakfast, featuring hot and cold dishes, plus coffee, tea, water.
We'll be joined this morning by a local African American expert on the history of black music in Memphis. On board, with our expert, we will hear the stories and history of the music that infiltrated Memphis in the 1920s and the struggles and difficulties endured during this time. What better way to learn how the music of Memphis fits into the Civil Rights story than visiting Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The Stax Museum follows in the pioneering steps of Stax Records that was a major influence in popularizing “soul” music. The record company, founded in 1957, was based in a converted movie theater with unusual acoustics that gave its recordings a distinctive sound. Also distinctive was the fact that the staff and artists were integrated and collaborative at a time of racial tension and strife. This state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of soul music and the artists who recorded here. We'll walk around the Manson Temple Church of God in Christ, the site of the last sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King before his assassination at the Lorraine Hotel. It is still an active congregation so we will not be going inside. C.H. Mason, founder of the largest Pentecostal church in the world, is enshrined in the church building. We'll also ride past Booker T. Washington High School, winner of the Race of the Top Commencement Challenge, where President Barack Obama came to Memphis to speak at their 2011 commencement. Alumni of Booker T. Washington include Benjamin Hooks, Director of the NAACP; Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington DC; Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire; and many more noted black Americans. We'll end our field trip at a popular restaurant noted for its especially great barbeque.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. There are several restaurants that are across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum. Our transportation will drop us nearby so you may select the one that suits you.
At a designated time, we will all gather at the National Civil Rights Museum. This privately owned complex of museums and historic buildings was built around the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. We’ll follow a timeline that charts the course of events around the assassination and the impact and legacy of the civil rights movement. The museum is self-guided to allow participants to experience oral histories, films and interactive components at their own pace. It is recommended that we allow a minimum of 2-3 hours to go through the entire museum campus. Across the street from the Lorraine Motel is the Legacy Building, which was the boarding house from where the assassin's shot was allegedly fired that killed Martin Luther King. Take as much time as you like to go through the various buildings that house the museum, Lorraine Motel, and Legacy Building. You may return to the hotel at your own leisure by walking the six blocks (0.7 miles) or by taking the trolley at the top of the street from the Civil Rights Museum to within two blocks of the hotel. The Group Leader will explain the walking or trolley route options.
On your own to enjoy what you like.