Reimagined National Civil Rights Museum Opens in Memphis

4.7.2014

By Neal Broverman

The museum, the site of the motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, received a $28 million renovation.

This weekend saw the reopening of the National Civil Rights Museum at the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his final hours.

Visitors can now relive some of the experiences that made up life in the 20th-century South, like sitting at segregated lunch counters and walking inside a vintage Montgomery, Ala. bus like the one Rosa Parks refused to move from. The museum still has King's room at the Lorraine intact; he was murdered on the hotel's balcony on April 4, 1968.

Curators worked to keep the hotel relevant for younger generations and to highlight other figures who made up the civil rights movement of the '50s and '60s. "We had to blend history, technology, information boards, artifacts, audio, video to create what we believe is an engaging museum," executive director Beverly Robertson told National Public Radio, which emphasized that the fight for equality is still ongoing, especially when it comes to LGBT rights.

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