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As I See it: Memphis Civil Rights Museum is a ‘must’ for everyone

By Iqra Saeed

Cultural Exchange Student

Iqra Saeed photo provided

The University of Mississippi had arranged for international students to tour the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. It was a Saturday morning, and students were excited about the trip. Before we stepped into the museum, it was just another museum for everyone, but after our visit the thought of “just a museum” changed. Now it’s not just a museum; each section of it tells part of the whole story or our history.

 The national Civil Rights Museum traces the history of civil rights movement in America from introduction of slavery in the 1690s to the struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.

After clearing the checkpoints, we entered the first section in the museum, which is full of quotes written on the wall that give visitors a feeling of revolution. Those words serve to inspire people to stand for those who are still suffering in the 21st century.

The next section in the museum tries its best to explain the events that happened in the past and to answer questions about how long slavery lasted in America, how America used slavery as a business and became one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and how and when racial slavery started in America.

Another section describes to its visitors how, during slavery, Black people were segregated in social life by whites. Blacks were supposed to give their bus seats up for whites and were refused medical treatment by whites. In short, they didn’t have any civil rights.

Iqra Saeed photo provided
Iqra Saeed photo provided

Another section of the museum, which used to be Lorraine Motel, gives goosebumps to its visitors. It’s the site where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside Room 306 in 1968 and it can be difficult for visitors to comprehend what actually happened. That’s why the National Civil Rights Museum is more than a museum. It’s a history and a legacy and a place everyone should visit at least once.


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