10 TN sites set to be on U.S. Civil Rights Trail - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

10 TN sites set to be on U.S. Civil Rights Trail

Governor Bill Haslam (Source: WMC Action News 5) Governor Bill Haslam (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Historic sites in Memphis are helping put the State of Tennessee on the map when it comes to sharing history and promoting tourism.

Governor Bill Haslam spoke at the National Civil Rights Museum Wednesday to announce the launch of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

"It's going to have 100 sites over 14 different states and significantly 10 of those sites are in Tennessee," Governor Haslam said.

Three of those sites are in Memphis including Clayborn Temple, Mason Temple Church of God in Christ, and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.

Meanwhile, National Civil Rights Museum is deep in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death.

"It is not our intention to be mournful. It is not our intention to focus on our past. But to focus on these young people and the future," Terri Freeman, President of the National Civil Rights Museum said. "What we want to do is answer the question that Dr. King posed where do we go from here."

Governor Haslam said the trail represents a future by learning from the past. 

Help us remember the people who came before us and the significant events that happened and then encourage us to remember that the battle is not over," he said. 

Representatives with the department of Tourist Development said there's still opportunity to recognize more historical sites to be included in the trail in the future.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) released the following statement about the Civil Rights Trail:

“Memphis is rightly proud to have a significant share of the most important historic sites celebrating the Civil Rights legacy of Tennessee and our nation. We have the Clayborn Temple, where Memphis sanitation workers gathered during their historic strike 50 years ago; the Mason Temple, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final, powerful speech; and the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated a day later. Each sends its own message to our time.

Black History Month is a good time to memorialize our living history but it’s important to realize we’re moving through history. In practical terms, that means we need to make voting easier at the state level while Congress needs to revisit and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

It’s not enough to just honor the past. Our actions today and in the future should build on that legacy with deeds that continue to advance our Civil Rights struggle.”

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