Friday, April 04, 2008

Time Capsule: 40 years Then and Now...




If you've been an active reader to this forum, perhaps you may have sensed that I'm a history buff and embrace the various lessons learned and often not learned that it provides. Today, on the 40Th Anniversary of Dr. M.L. Kings death in Memphis. I felt compelled to share my viewpoint and observation about his legacy juxtaposed to my own life as I've been apart of the Black Experience. To better understand as well as touch history, I went to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis which is now apart of the National Civil Rights Museum. After arriving, I realized that I had come to this bluff city many times before, not in search of teachable moment but rather mindless good times that could easily be forgotten and have been. However, I found myself eager to enter a phase of the civil rights time capsule that would ultimately leave me forever touched. The exhibits which chronicle those turbulent times are filled with interactive possibilities, artifacts and striking photos that kept me simply engrossed. At every turn, there's a new nugget, a fresh nuance or engaging sound that allows you a chance to gaze back to a time when America was struggling with a plethora of issues including inequality, poverty, justice and generational discourse which seemed capable of tearing the nation apart. Despite all that I've read over the years, being in this place reignited a sense of wonderment and cause me to be filled with so many more questions. How could a man be charged with such a task? Where did the tenacity,vision and passion spring from? Had God called him in to solace about his fate? What would Dr. King think about the state of the world today? All these and so many more crossed my mind as I stood front and center of the hotel room display adjacent to the balcony where Dr. King met an assassins bullet April 4, 1968. I didn't understand the impact of this tragedy 40 years ago, yet here I stood where history has stood still waiting for me. It was all too surreal as I moved to another area of the complex, ultimately finding myself looking from the actual bathroom window where the fatal shot was fired... If you haven't had a chance to visit this historic museum, and I encourage you to do so, you want be disappointed at the variety of exhibits and education that it offers. Believe me, my visit will not be my last, I'm sure that there will always be a new teachable moment that awaits me. For more information go their website, http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/

1 comment:

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