December 11-12: Memphis




On to Memphis!! We spent our time on the road to Memphis watching “The Witness, ” an award winning documentary. It focuses on Reverend Billy Kyles, who was on the balcony with Dr. King when he was shot. Rev. Kyles talked about the years he spent wondering why God had chosen him to witness this event; he concluded that it was his purpose to spread a  message:”You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.” The film was to prepare us for our Sunday visit to the Civil Rights museum.







Until then, we are enjoying some much needed down time.  Friday night we headed to B.B. King Blues Club, where we had great Bar-B-Que for dinner and then stayed for hours, listening to the B.B. King All Star Band. The band played such intergenerational favorites as “Stand By Me,” “Mustang Sally, ” and “My Girl.” Saturday was our first (and only!) day off. It was cold and rainy, but that did not stop us from exploring Memphis – for some of us it was back to Beale Street or off to Graceland; others took much need naps!



Student Comments:

Ewo: Today is our day off in Memphis, Tennessee. The city is not that lively except for Beale Street. Last night was amazing at B. B. King’s restaurant. Of course we had a good ‘ole southern fried dinner, but this time we got to also listen to some great Blues music. When the actual house band came on we all went downstairs to dance. I really enjoyed this. Our group gets along so well and this makes me happy. I had so much fun dancing to the music that I grew up on. They played all the greats from the Temptations to Marvin Gaye. It was just a great place.

During the day in Memphis a few of us had planned for a while to go to Graceland. Why not, right? When we first arrived there we were very confused. We saw a tacky stone building with too many neon lights. Marisa wondered, “Where is the mansion?” It turns out Graceland is like going to Disney World. The actual mansion was beautiful. However, inside was pretty tacky…I didn’t know much about Elvis before I went there, and still know very little. But I am very happy I went. For me it was a break away from the emotional experience that is the miniterm. For those few hours I forgot about slavery, racism, and the movement.

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