SOUTHERN CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY TOUR MAY 2021

Day 3 Memphis

Sun Records

Memphis is a majority black city of 1,150,000 on the Mississippi in southwest Tennessee. In the early days of the Civil Rights movement a few hungry, broke and gifted young white musicians fell in love with the music that evolved from slavery and the black religious experience. They took the essence and spirit of that music across the Jim Crow divide, repackaged it for white America and rocketed to legendary stardom. It all began at a tiny little run-down studio in Memphis — Sun Records.

Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire), Carl Perkins (Blue Suede Shoes), Elvis and Johnny Cash at Sun Record Studio, Dec 4 1956

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis has been built on and around the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was murdered in 1968.

The museum offers visitors a deep, granular and graphic education about the human enslavement at the foundation of America’s economic and political history, slavery’s legacy, the Civil Rights movement and the struggles of the present.

In a heart stopping moment signs call for silence as you enter the plexiglass enclosed room leading to the balcony outside the room where it happened.

The museum includes the boarding house across the street and the also preserved assassin’s room with a detailed examination of who he was, how he did it with an exploration of other theories of how it happened

Outside the Lorraine- A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place

Our friend, photographer David Katzenstein, was invited by the Museum to document the experience of the institution itself as a deeply emotional pilgrimage for Afro Americans and everyone else. The exhibit of his photographs is on the first floor.

With an ability to be simultaneously intimate, yet invisible, David has captured a range of faces of museum visitors with furrowed brows, tightened lips and fought back tears, offering a window into our silent, shared national grief. It’s a portrait of a gaping wound still raw and unhealed 53 years later.

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Bob Salzman

Bob Salzman

Past winner Funniest Lawyer in NYC; 2020 “Sorting out the Mess”, and contest winning essay in forthcoming anthology 2020- Hell We Should Never Forget”