Memphis is famous for its deep roots in musical history. Celebrated as the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Blues the city’s culture is steeped in Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis.
But Memphis has a rich history apart from the glamorous music industry, and equally important to the American culture. You can experience some of the darker side of Memphis history with a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum, housed at the very site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The Lorraine Motel, where MLK was shot while standing on the balcony is now dedicated to exhibits representing the fight for civil rights from 1916 to the present. Included in the museum you’ll find displays about Little Rock, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Booker T. Washington, and many other significant events related to the Civil Rights Movement.
Another historic must-see stop in Memphis is the Slavehaven Underground Railroad Museum. Tour the home of Jacob Burkle, and be transported to a day when human trafficking was the norm, and helping these men and women to freedom was at great risk. As you enter a world of trap doors and hidden passages, imagine what it must have been like for the escapees who were breaking the chains of slavery.
How thankful we are that times have changed. But it is a lesson in history that you should experience for yourself. So while you visit Memphis, enjoy the barbeque, marvel at the massive luxury of Graceland, and remember all the people who fought hard battles for the freedoms we enjoy.