Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018 - 23

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was brought under the 13th Amendment alleging involuntary
servitude. However, the reforms are grudgingly made and still
incomplete.

Memphis is a lively town with a rich musical history. We
visited Stax Records Museum. It was the first record label that
bridged the racial gap successfully. A Jewish brother and sister
started and located it in an African-American neighborhood,
first as a record store. Stax recorded some of the great artists of
the '60s, until the racial tensions enflamed by the assassination
of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. infiltrated the mood of good will
and ended the Stax run. The Museum is an excellent reminder
of the music, the partnership, and the tragic ending.
Memphis also has the Underground Slave Museum, a
former house of Jacob Burkle, which is worth seeing. But
the must-see place in Memphis is the National Civil Rights
Museum, which was built at the site of the Lorraine Motel,
where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April
4, 1968. The Lorraine was a Green Book Motel, listed in the
book that African Americans used when traveling to indicate
that businesses would serve them. This landmark motel was
going into foreclosure after Dr. King's death but a group of
African-American businessmen bought the property, and
formed a nonprofit that raised the funds to open the Museum.
It gives an astonishingly comprehensive overview of Civil

Rights history with all kinds of inventive exhibits. The hotel
room that MLK, Jr. was actually staying in at the time of his
death has been preserved. The Legacy Building across the street,
from which King was shot, has its own exhibits that detail the
investigation into the shooting. There is a detailed exhibit on
Parchman, with photographs of the Freedom Riders who were
imprisoned there. Dr. King's jail cell from which he wrote the
Letter from Birmingham Jail is recreated. It takes at least a
day to get through all of the oral histories, films and exhibits at
the National Civil Rights Museum, and it is worth it. A good
preparation is to read or watch Eyes on the Prize. The Museum
has recently been featured in the anniversary memorials for Dr.
King. If you are planning a trip to Memphis, skip Graceland
and go to the Civil Rights Museum.
Although we did not plan our trip around Civil Rights, it
is impossible to travel through the South and not be reminded
of the legacy of slavery and segregation. There are many
monuments to the courageous people who brought about
change, but there is also evidence that there is a great deal yet to
be accomplished. Obviously, this can be done to the soundtrack
of some excellent music.
Sharon M. Scullin, Esquire, is Of Counsel at the
Wyomissing law firm of Rothstein & Scullin, P.C.

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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018

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