Irony in Memphis,TN
I recently visited Memphis, TN and was amazed, saddened, enlightened, and disappointed by two things I experienced firsthand.
1st the positives. Normally thought of in a negative sense, relative to Memphis, are the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the demise of STAX Records, ironically assassinated as well, in Spirit, by Dr. King's Death.
Let me explain how these two events have turned into positives for the City of Memphis. Had Dr. King been assassinated in any other city, there would be National Civil Rights Museum such that all races of people have the ability to see with their eyes and feel with their own emotions, what the Civil Rights movement meant to Memphis. There is so much Black History lost...simply because there was no tragic event, on a National level, to bring it to light. The Nation contains, and contained, far more Black people than those residing in Memphis and throughout the South and I need not tell you that Racism was felt in as amny palces as there were and are Blacks in the U.S....and I don't need any reference sourse here to prove it...I've experineced and witnessed inwithin my lifetime such that I am the source that can acn avildate the statement.
What makes Memphis stand out ampoong all other placesin the United States as a focal point fpor a discussion about Race Relations, Freedom Marches, Lynchings, Injustices towarda Balcks, Civil Rights etc...is the fact that the most prominent Black Civil Right Leader and Adviocate died at the hands of a white man / or gov'yt (based upon which story you believe) in that city.
The Civil Rights Museum makes Dr. Kings Death a Blessing in a sense, although a tragic loss at the same time. The location where the assication took place in now the site of maybe the most extensive record of the Civil Rights Mobement to date...inspired by the death of zdr. zking.
In the same respect, the death of Stax Records has allowed for there to be an absilute Shrine to so many Musiciamns, Black & White, who symbolically exemplified integreation. Had Dr. King's Death never taken place, STAX may have becoem what all overe Record Labels have become... a Mecca of zforgetfullnress that good Soul Music ever existed...and replaced . by today's musci rifddled with disrespectful %th Ammendement Freeedome of Speech profanitires, female degredation, and simplky filthly lyrics. STAX would have HAD TO progress to stiull be in business. Agaion, Dr, King's deat a Blkessing of sirts suchg that now there is a musem that captures the essence of the Civil Right sytruglle and the beginninbg of integration and enteratyinment for all...no more Al Jolson bullshit.
So those are extreme posituives in Mempghis TN which provide a means of Black Pride for Blackl people, one of the underlying goals of the Civil Rights Movememnt. the movement stressed EQUALITY for Blacks while at the same time providing ameamns of pridefullness in beiong Black.
The there's St Jude Children's Reserach Hospiutal ... somewhat of a not sop well know Civil Rights leader in it's own Right baed on how the hospital came about and the culptit which lauched it's now worwide acclaim for saving Cjikldrens Lives at no caost whateoever to any fsmaily wthat has a achile they treat that had cancer. Whatma I talking about. I'm talking about a Lenbanese amn who wanted to helkp a Blacj Child with Leukemia who was turned away by a white hospeyial becaise he was ablack. FromDanny Thoimas wanting to help this one child, thousands upon thousands of children,,,bkavjk and white and asian and hisoanic and all races of children have been healed of teior ilments and live today gto tell their storty....thakk to st. Jude's.
There are far more positibes relatuve to Mem phgis but I am not tryin g to wroiye a literal bookj here, so Let me jumpo ahead to te unfortunate negatives in Memnphis that gtarnish the city, laugh in the face of Civil Rights and the people who died during the movemnemntg.
roles in gthe Peabofy hitel The most Prominent Hotel in Memphis is the Historival Peabody Hitel...but has the ZHotel honored or kept up with gtnbe time and foregomne theior past rackist practices when Blacj were not nearly allowed to stay inthe hotel, unless the could be used as virtual slaves. One of those refelvctive of slavery would be the very gthing that most peop,ke cwlebrate as a cornerstone of enetartianement hostiry whith te hote;/....the famous DUCKS.
How do the ducks and slavery / civil right s ahev anything in common.? ell the verty first DUCK-MASTER ...so to speak ,,,was a Black man ...for llowe dby another but both Duck Keepers the firsat of which nknew how to traiun ducks to walk from tehrio home with in the hitels top fllorres to the big fountain in tbe aion lobby for the entrtainemenmty of white gusts...