Civil rights icon brings tour group to Memphis

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - History buffs from around the country arrived in Memphis to study the city's history and connection to the civil rights movement.

Julian Bond, a civil rights icon, former legislator, and former Chairman of the NAACP, acted as tour guide.

Sunday morning services at Christ Missionary Baptist church featured Bond and the group he brought to town to study Memphis.

"It's such a center of black culture and history," Bond said of Memphis.

Bond is currently a professor at the University of Virginia.  The people on the tour included some of his students, as well as others committed to learning more about the fight for civil rights.

"They will be going several places through the South," said Gina Stewart with Christ Missionary Baptist Church, "retracing steps in the civil rights movement."

When the group reached the Civil Rights Museum, they toured the balcony with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

Inside the museum's photo gallery, Bond spotted the historic picture of himself protesting America's involvement in the war in Vietnam.

"What people are most excited about on these trips is not just going to the place where something happened but meeting the person who helped make it happen," Bond said.

The tour group's goal is to visit sites in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana in search of a better understanding of the people who risked everything for freedom.

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