National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel

Posting photos from the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel today, on Martin Luther King Day, seems like an obvious choice on our part. The National Civil Rights Museum is a living memorial to the work of Martin Luther King, housed at the Lorraine Motel where his life was cut short. But, to be truthful, we’re posting these images almost six weeks after visiting the museum because it took us that long to return to them. It was easy to edit and share whimsical images from our time in Memphis; the museum held a much greater weight.The museum was painful; our trip was filled with silent hours of reflecting, learning, questioning, and mourning. Each exhibit offered new and expanded insights into the battles that have been waged for equality, and the very real ways that voices in power keep marginalized voices on the sidelines. For two photographers who have centered a year of travel around the idea of listening to voices that are constantly quieted, there was a sense of urgency in every corner of the Lorraine. The photos we took are filled with our own hopes, but they are muted by the realities of our country. We saw a history of violence at the Lorraine; from the slave trade up until, and through, our present America. There was too much here to try to summarize, but it is our hope that these photos offer a glimpse into this powerful space.”Slavery. Separate but equal. Boycotts. Assassinations. Black power. This is the history of the uprising that pushed national and international civil rights forward.”

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