Hey there, Mea here!
Since last year, I have been on a mission to revamp my personal life by doing new things like traveling around the United States to cultural and unique places. One of my first trips was to Memphis, TN. I chose this place because of the history it holds, and it was only a few hours away from my home town. While we were there, we enjoyed the food in various neighborhoods (because we believe that is where the best home style meals are located), toured colleges, even went to many tourist locations. Now even though we seen quite a bit, one of places that stuck with me particularly though, was the Lorraine Hotel, not just because of its history but also the unique experience I shared in the moments that I was there.
Upon arrival, we tried to go on the tour but they were closed due to a private event that was previously scheduled, but we were still allowed to tour the outside. As we walked around the area, we came upon a beautiful big mural that had various individuals who made an impact on black history. I found this mural unique because the designer took out the time to paint large full blow images and head shots upon the worn brick of the building. You can definitely tell it was a labor of love.
As we continued towards the motel, we noticed that it was a nice sized crowd. People were taking pictures, carrying on conversation, reading, smiling, and really having informal conversations of the history presented before them. As I was listening to the conversations and taking in the sites I suddenly took notice to a little black girl, probably no more than six years old, standing in front of the motel looking up at the area that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated with her mother. As she held her mother’s hand, she looked at the balcony and then said something to her. In response, her mother replied and pointed, suddenly the little girl started to cry and the mother started to hold her close. Concerned, I started to walk their way to make sure that everything was okay. As I got closer, the crowd started to get thicker, so it became harder to reach her. Finally, when I got close enough to the location, I can hear the mother calmly speak to another concerned individual who asked if the little girl was okay. While she continued to hold her daughter, the mother shook her head and replied “Yes she is okay, we were just talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and she asked me what happened to him. Once I told her of his passing, she started to feel bad and cry. She is just sorry that it happened to him when he was just trying to do something good.”
Once I heard that, it hit me hard and had to walk away quickly while holding back tears. As we completed the tour, I constantly was thinking about the little girl. I was amazed at the history, but more so amazed that this child, not only understood, but she also immediately became very sympathetic to the situation. While her mother comforted her, her tears were genuine, and seeing her taught me the power of our history, knowing of those who fought for us, and embracing our history for our future. As I walked away, I prayed that she takes this life changing moment, learn, embrace it, and apply to her life. Looking back on these pictures, it reminds me that this place was not just a place of history, but it was also a place of growth. This is definitely a place where I am going to take my children on our family trip.
Till Next Time,