Monday, 2 June 2014


The Lorraine Motel is the hotel in Memphis, Tennessee where Martin Luther King was assassinated. I went there once, many, many years ago when it was still a working hotel in the ‘colored’ part of the city and long before it became the glitzy National Civil Rights Museum that it is today.     You could rent any room, including the one [Room 306] that MLK was murdered in; nothing special in those days. Just a down at heel motel good enough for ‘colords’. Now of course, it is a place of pilgrimage and quiet contemplation. It’s that Churchill quote, isn’t it? ‘You can always count on Americans to do the right thing . . . after they have tried everything else’.
All this came to mind today when I read about MLK’s visit here to Newcastle in 1967. In all honesty, I do not recall that visit. I was a child then but the visit and the speech he gave, just six months before he was shot, seems to have been forgotten by almost everyone.

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