The Lorraine Motel looks almost exactly today as it did on April 4, 1968, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead on its second floor balcony. Martin Luther King, Jr. likely needs no introduction to a world audience - only a few Americans can really make that claim, but King is among them. The face of the Civil Rights Movement among African Americans during the 1950s and 1960s, King is a national and international hero.
The Lorraine Motel, the scene of his assassination, is today a museum not only to King but to the entire struggle for Civil Rights that consumed the nation a century after the end of the American Civil War. His room has been meticulously restored to its 1968 look, while much of the building's interior has been renovated to house a wonderful tour of the history of this defining period in the country's history.
This shot is of the Motel's original sign, which still stands outside the museum. On it is written "I Have a Dream", the title of King's most well-known speech, delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington in 1963. Today, King's dream - while not fully a reality - is much less a fantasy than it was when he spoke it, and this wonderful museum tells the story of how.
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tyro (26142) 2013-04-29 8:27
Now this, to my mind at least, is a perfect posting for TE! This picture might not be your greatest photograph of all time but, together with your interesting and informative note, it really does help us to "learn about the World through photography"!
Again, I think that black and white works very well here and the image has been composed thoughtfully looking upwards at the sign - is that the sun just to the left trying to peep through the clouds? The vertical pole on the left is a fine inclusion but I just wonder about those bare straggly branches at the far top left - perhaps removing those might have helped, though I'm not sure. And I'm just wondering what this sign would look like illuminated at night.
Noel_Byrne (33148) 2013-04-29 8:40
As John says above, this is the epitomy of TE. from the thumbnail, I was not sure what this was, but I liked how it looked as you've made an everyday sign look quite imposing, and quite like a work of art here. To read the note adds so much more to the scene to know the history of the place.
How great that all these years later, this dedication stands tall and proud. the black and white treatment suits the subject beautifully.
thanks for sharing
lousat (95996) 2013-04-29 8:59
Hi Andrew,i can see all your style there,whit the black and white full of grey and a magic imposing perspective,i like the idea to take something from this very historic place,there is a piece of U.S. history there.Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano
holmertz (57497) 2013-04-29 12:17
With this interesting and well written note you give us another little lecture on modern American history. I am old enough to remember the assassination of Dr King very well (and the Kennedys, of course), but I didn't know about this museum. The story behind it gives the picture an impact it would not have had if this had been just another motel sign. I don't know what the colors were like, but I think in any case the converision to B%W suits the spirit of the place better.
Schnappilic (9692) 2013-04-29 12:33
TFS this place with very good historical information. Really interesting!
bukitgolfb301 (44359) 2013-04-29 14:33
Hi dear Andrew
Another unique angle setting from low and wide as your tatse. Meaningiful B&W color is great aas usual!
So well considered framework shot at all.
Thanks a lot and have a good day!
Takero frmo Tokyo
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-05-01 6:23
looking up brings always something interesting.This one is great!Good subject for an amazing photo.After reading your note and the tragic history of this Motel I understand why you took it in B&W(although it would look certainly awesome in color).Tennessee seems to be important place not only in history of music,but also in politics.
Have a good day
annjackman (21901) 2013-05-02 17:09
Thankyou for the interesting note. I have taken many old motel signs in the last few days on Route 66 but none have such a poignant story behind them as this one. I enjoy your viewpoint and b/w treatmnet.
Kind Regards, Ann
macjake (71113) 2013-05-04 9:28
another interesting historical post.
Of course I know MLK and his story, but i guess I didn't realize his death occurred in Memphis.
I have to admit that I would really enjoy having a walk through that museum, sounds very interesting indeed.
I just hope that it hasn't become a major tourist trap type of thing - I mean...we're talking about a death here! Perhaps some of the money collected goes to a good cause? a cause thats related to helping Minority Groups? something like that??? I hope so.
It would be awful to find out that the Hotel collects all the money and profits out of this.
anyways...thats how I feel. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
great post, as it brings up many issues
- Copyright: Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) (7511)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2013-02-20
- Categories: Architecture, Event
- Camera: Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-105 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR
- Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Tennessee & Arkansas, February 2013
- Theme(s): Historical, Black and White [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-04-29 6:41