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Memphis, Tennessee
A Museum for Civil Rights in Memphis
Statues in the National Civil Rights Museum represent African American men in protest. Image courtesy of the National Civil Rights Museum.

In Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered, the National Civil Rights Museum honors King’s legacy by telling the story of the Civil Rights Movement and the economic and social inequalities that gave rise to it. First opened in 1991, the museum underwent a massive, 18-month renovation, reopening in 2014. Supported with an NEH public programs grant, the new 14,500-square-foot permanent exhibition tells the story of resistance to slavery from 1619 and continues through the Montgomery bus boycott in the 1950s, the student sit-ins and the freedom riders of the 1960s, and the Black Power movement in the 1970s. Overall, the museum examines King’s legacy and that of the Civil Rights Movement, demonstrating how they continue to influence human rights issues across the world.

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