Freedom Summer: Day 5

June 18, 2014
Memphis Tennessee 

- Lorraine Hotel
- National Civil Rights Museum
- Blues City Cafe, Beale Street

FNN Tech Prep Bureau:  Today is Wednesday June 18, 2014 and today’s journey led us to Memphis,Tennessee. We ventured into the Lorraine Motel Museum and it was amazing. And when I say amazing, I truly mean it. We saw everything from when our ancestors were taken as slaves—then gaining their freedom, to them being oppressed and treated like animals again. The feeling of heartbreak, yet admiration will always stick with me. I felt moved as I listened to the voices of civil rights leaders and others who were brave enough to stick their necks out to gain independence, respect, their rights and most of all their freedom and equality. I distinctly remember the story of James Peck, a white man and his role in the movement. He was one of the few who decided to join the Freedom Riders on their journey. He was beaten twice: once on the bus and once after he got off the bus because he was a part of the movement. And there were many more who inspired me. I learned that just as many whites were involved in the movement as blacks. And this opened my mind a not be prejudiced. At the very end of this museum we saw Martin Luther King's room in the Lorraine Hotel and as I was standing there looking through the glass I couldn't move. To be exactly in the place of a man who inspired millions...someone so powerful in the civil rights movement...was a gut-wrenching feeling. I still can't explain what I felt, but it was heartbreaking and exciting at once because I knew he died there, but I also knew he died knowing that people received his message. I was so grateful and honored to be there.
- Patricia Tindle

Today is Wednesday, June 18th, 2014. Everyone wakes up, eats breakfast, and board the bus. We're headed to the bluesy Memphis, Tennessee. We arrive in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, which has now been turned into a museum. We enter the museum and explore our history. There are what seems like millions of facts, pictures, interactive and recreations. Patricia and I are so intrigued by everything. So we quickly fall behind the rest of the group because we're soaking up so much information. We see exhibits covering the middle passage, slavery, the civil war, sharecropping, racism, civil rights, integration, and the presidency of Barack Obama. Once we get close to the end of the museum we receive a call from someone in our group saying that we need to hurry up because they're already on the bus. We reach the end of the museum and we're in the motel rooms, viewing Martin Luther King's room at the time he was assassinated. Emotions start to overwhelm me and I begin to cry. Patricia then follows. We exit the museum and head to the bus. Once we get on the bus, we head to Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where we stay for the night.
- Trayona Lawrence

Today is Wednesday, June 18, 2014 and we are on are way to Memphis, Tennessee. We are visiting the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. The Lorraine Motel is where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The museum was great. It laid out the civil rights movement and everyone involved. It also had many interactive parts. After leaving the museum we boarded the bus again and headed for Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
- Briana Thomas

6/18/14 Journal #5
Today we visited the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. That was where Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed. Inside of the museum was the bus like the one that Rosa Parks refused to get off. They let us sit on the bus. The bus driver was really talking so it felt like I was actually there. When we went upstairs, we saw the motel room of Dr. Martin Luther King. When you look off his balcony, you can see the boarded up house across the street from where James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin lived. My emotions began to build up and I started to cry. I felt as though I could imagine standing on Martin's balcony or seeing him get assassinated. Next we went across the street to James Earl Ray house. Upstairs was his bathroom from where he shot Martin.

I could also imagine Martin standing on his balcony from James's window. My feelings were mournful and distressed. I had no idea that I could feel like I was really there.
- Taria Taylor

06/18/14. Journal Entry #5

Today is June 18th and we traveled to Memphis, Tennessee. There we went to the Lorraine Motel which now is a museum to show where Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed. As we went through the museum we saw video images and materials that were used during the civil rights era. I almost cried looking at the footage and seeing what happened to black people. They were beaten and arrested for standing up for their rights. After we left the first museum, we went to where the murderer killed Martin. I felt overwhelmed looking at everything that happened during that time. It wasn't right and I'm glad things are getting better.
-  Deandra Jackson  

Today, we traveled to Memphis and we went to the Lorraine Motel where we got to see where Martin Luther King got shot and where the assassin shot him from. We went into the National Civil Rights Museum and basically just went through the civil rights exhibits that showed what it was like at that time. I believe the Museums purpose is to put you there, send you back in time and they succeeded in their purpose. Right after the Museum. We ate at Elvis’s place..The Blues City Cafe. The street we were on was known for all its music. In fact Memphis is the home of the blues. After that, we went for dinner at a buffet called Marly’s. After that, we went to the best hotel of the whole trip, with the biggest rooms and awesome pool.
- Aaron Grice

Day 5. Today we woke up in Philadelphia, Mississippi. After breakfast we immediately got on the road to Memphis, Tennessee. In Memphis and we went to the Civil Rights Museum also known as the Lorraine Motel. This is where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. The museum was pretty interesting. It showed the different phases of Blacks fighting for their civil rights. It started with slavery, then when slavery ended, then to the hardships and conditions of segregation. It also showed different protests from Blacks—like when they wanted the right to vote and the right to get an education. It also had a bus like the one where Rosa Parks sat. You could walk through and sit on the bus and it had a statue of Rosa Parks and the bus driver on the bus. The motel also had the rooms where Martin Luther King stayed. Across the street from the museum was another museum and it had the room from where the killer killed MLK. It was very intriguing because I have never been to a museum where they have the murder scene.  After that, we went to the Blues City Cafe, the “Best Meal on Beale”. The food was pretty good. After that we got on the road to go to Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. It was a long drive but we made it.   
- Rhonea Long

June 18, 2014. Today we visited Memphis,Tennessee where Dr.King was shot and killed. We visited the Civil Rights Museum. The final exhibit was the motel room where Dr. King spent the final hour of his life. I remember sitting looking at this and thinking about my grandmother. She always told me about how bad she felt when he died. She also said that DC was filled with riots and chaos following his death. People were angered, saddened and confused. I could relate to them because this was exactly how I felt when I saw where the shot was fired that killed MLK. I asked myself,  How did Dr.King’s death affect the black community as a whole?  Would we be where we are today if he didn’t die?  If not, would we be better off as a community—or no?
- Kvonte Petty

Day 5. Today we went to the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis. This was fun because the exhibits were entertaining and easy to understand. Also I went on a bus like the one that Rosa Parks was on. This was fun because we could actually get on the bus, sit on the bus and listen to the driver. Next we had a lunch. Then we took a long drive to the hotel. This was a cool day and it was very fun.
- Katrina Smith