As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, Memphis and beyond reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and contributions to both our city and society as a whole. Our city is a key part of the Civil Rights Movement, with many museums, galleries, and more telling Dr. King’s story plus that of the many Memphians who were at the center of the movement. Here are just five must-visit places around Memphis for a meaningful MLK Day Weekend:
The National Civil Rights Museum
Start your weekend by visiting The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through the history of civil rights in America. Walk through exhibits, watch powerful videos, and see artifacts that tell the story of the fight for equality and Dr. King’s legacy.
Historic Clayborn Temple
While the building is under construction, visitors can still stop outside of Clayborn Temple. Their website states, “because of its reputation in the community and proximity to City Hall, Clayborn was chosen as the organizing headquarters for The Sanitation Workers’ Strike of 1968, Martin Luther King’s last campaign. The campaign’s iconic “I AM A MAN” signs were made daily in Clayborn’s basement and have since become a universal symbol for human rights and dignity.”
I AM A MAN Plaza
Located next to Historic Clayborn Temple, I AM A MAN Plaza features a sculpture made to honor the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike. Boarding the plaza is a marble wall with the names of the 1,300 sanitation workers who participated in the strike with the words “I AM A MAN” reminding us of the bravery of those who fought for their rights and their call for equality.
MLK Reflection Park
Just a short walk away from both Clayborn Temple and I AM A MAN Plaza, the MLK Reflection Park encourages Memphians and visitors alike to take a moment, reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and continue his work throughout the future.
The Four Way Restaurant
After soaking in history, treat yourself to a meal at The Four Way Restaurant. This spot has been serving up delicious soul food since 1946. Dr. King himself enjoyed meals here and, if you haven’t stopped in yourself, now’s a great time to do so!
As you wander through these spots, take a moment to think about Dr. King’s teachings and the journey toward justice. Memphis has a way of reminding us of the strength of those who fought for what’s right. This MLK Day Weekend, let the city inspire you and renew your commitment to making the dream of equality a reality.