Visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel to explore a fascinating site that delves into the history of its namesake movement. It uses a mix of oral histories, films and other interactive media to tell the stories of the figures and groups at the center of the struggle. Learn about slavery, its abolition and the enforcement of anti-African American laws in this poignant museum.
Understand how the Civil Rights Movement was formed at the culmination of centuries of inequality and exploitation, beginning with slavery and continuing through the Civil War. Much of the war was waged around the fundamental disagreement over slavery. As the museum exhibits show, stark inequality continued long after abolition, with the escalation of Jim Crow anti-black laws.
Read about slavery in the U.S. from 1619 to 1861 in the exhibit A Culture of Resistance. Hear about the student sit-ins of the 1960s in the Standing Up By Sitting Down display. The iconic Rosa Parks is at the nexus of the section The Year They Walked, featuring the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1950s. Find out about Black Power in the What Do We Want? segment and Freedom Riders in the We Are Prepared To Die area.
In the gift shop, peruse the array of items relating to the Civil Rights Movement. It has T-shirts, bags and mugs, among other products.
The site opens Thursday through Monday from morning to late afternoon. Ask for admission discounts for seniors, students and children. Toddlers, members and active U.S. military personnel can enter for free.
The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel is at the southern end of the Downtown Memphis zone in the heart of the city. Walk northeast for a few minutes from the Memphis Tennessee Central railway station or travel by bus to one of the many surrounding stops. Explore the area for nearby gems such as the Robinson Gallery, Army Park and the Clayborn Temple.