The first major renovation of the historic Lorraine Motel exhibition and galleries that houses the National Civil Rights Museum will include enhanced visitor amenities and site signage with listening posts, more artifacts, interactive exhibits, archival films, reconfigured auditorium and new ellipses theater.
The center piece of the lobby will be bronze sculpture Movement to Overcome, depicting a sea of humanity striving to overcome injustice, inequality and discrimination as they hold on to each other as men, women and children. Visitors will notice there is no designated race or nationality depicted in the sculpture, for we are ONE connected through a Mission of hope and inspiration.
SLAVERY AND A CULTURE OF RESISTANCE
This new exhibit is a moving and riveting journey that tracks the slave trade from Africa to various ports in North America. The exhibit also provides information on the commodities, including slaves, that created the vast amount of wealth in America. Authentic artifacts, a true to life slave ship hull will be one of the highlights of this newly designed exhibit on the main floor.
ENLARGED AUDITORIUM WITH ORIENTATION FILM
Auditorium seating is expanded for visitors with a state of the art audio and video technology to educate visitors on the overall history of America’s Civil Rights Movement through a brief orientation film.
BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION
Visitors are transported to the US Supreme Court for the landmark decision that changes the path of America’s education system with the Brown V. Topeka Board of Education case, declaring segregated public schools as unconstitutional. Visitors will be able to track other legal cases in several states that followed Brown V. Board, such as Little Rock, Arkansas’ Central High School.
THE MEMPHIS MOVEMENT
1968 Memphis, TN. Sanitation workers are on strike, garbage is transforming the river city into a sidewalk cesspool and racial tensions are at all time high. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is in the middle of planning the Poor People’s Campaign and has taken a vocal stand against the Viet Nam War. He takes the time to join the Memphis Sanitation workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions. Dr. King would be assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. The visitors will feel transported to the era, hear the speeches and learn more about the legacy of the man who became the front runner for peace.
Renovation Renderings Courtesy of Howard + Revis Design, Inc.