Workshop Note

By 1982, the Lorraine Motel was a foreclosed property. A local non-profit group, concerned that this historic site would be destroyed through continued neglect and indifference, formed the MLK Memorial Foundation to save it from foreclosure. Prior to becoming the America’s first Civil Rights Museum, Lorraine went through the Jacqueline Smith's protest for nearly 2 decades by the last homeless person evicted from the hotel about 18 years ago.

Reflected in the museum glass front door is the backside of the rooming-house located at 422 ˝ S. Main. The small window in the middle is — according to the government — where James Earl Ray shot Dr. Martin Luther King from. James Earl Ray spent his life in prison and died 30 years 20 days after the assassination, and after telling MLK’s son No, I didn’t as Dexter King asked the dying Ray point-blank if he killed the civil rights leader.

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