Visit to the National Civil Rights Museum | Memphis | July 2011

The National Civil Rights Museum is located in the Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King's assassination. The museum chronicles key events of the American civil rights movement and the legacy of this movement to inspire participation in civil and human rights efforts today, globally.

The "big moment" is when you encounter the actual site of MLK's murder. The assassin's perch is visible in the distance; the third white-framed window in the boarding house. You find yourself virtually in the path of the bullet. There are bloodstains still visible on the concrete of the balcony.

The boarding house was purchased by the NCRM in 2002 and fitted with a newer exhibition. It chronicles the man-hunt for James Earl Ray. The compelling subject matter makes up for the conventional, graphically intense presentation.

Thank you, exhibit designers, for sharing your organizational method. I'd rather hear if from you than have to figure it out myself.

Some visitors (mostly adults) were first drawn to the large case containing the court evidence used to convict James Earl Ray. Other visitors (mostly kids) were drawn to the touchscreen media stations (located just out of view of this photo). 4 touch screens interrogated the objects with virtual magnification, maps, additional photos, and illustrations.

Artifacts like this (the bullet removed from MLK's body) make this museum a "must talk about."

The assassin's view is an authentic artifact and a powerful, memorable encounter.