I know that readers of this blog expect posts about Mexico City, however once in a while my attention takes me elsewhere. Recently my mitigation work took me to Memphis, Tennessee, a city I'd never visited before. I had a day off in which to explore downtown, and one of my stops was the Lorraine Motel, pictured above, where Martin Luther King was murdered. It is no longer functioning as a motel and now houses the National Museum of Civil Rights.
When I got to this corner I burst into tears. It's complicated. My mother went to college in Memphis, and shared the same birthday as Martin Luther King -- today, January 15 -- and so in my mind they are inextricably linked. I am not sure whether I cried for her, for him, for both, or for an idea: that today in the United States the concept of civil rights is so divorced from everyday reality -- has been so effectively robbed from its citizens -- that its only place is in a museum.
In any case, I wanted to honor the memory of Dr. King on his day.