February is Black History Month, a time to remember important people and events in history. It’s the history of a nation delayed from realizing a great deal of it’s potential through callous bigotry. It’s people like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr who made a difference and were a driving force in a movement that would finally bring change.
This year, lonely planet has an idea for something meaningful we can do to honor the past, celebrate today and look forward to an even better tomorrow.
Lonely Planet is offering a free PDF itinerary called “Tracing Martin Luther King, Jr.,” which outlines a trip across America’s south, following the civil rights leader’s road from Atlanta to that fateful date in Memphis.
It’s a distance of 600 miles over 3 or 4 days and the best time to go is between March and May.
On April 4, 1968, a true American hero was silenced in Memphis, Tennessee. But the words and life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr will forever remain in the public consciousness as the soundtrack to civil rights. This eye-opening journey traces his revolutionary footsteps, starting in Atlanta and continuing on to Memphis, stopping in Jackson, Mississippi and Montgomery, Alabama to see a house where King once lived which is now a museum.
An included narrative adds a surreal element of detail not normally touched on by contemporary sources.
“The next day, while standing on the balcony outside room 306 at the Lorraine Motel on the south end of downtown Memphis, a shot rang out that took off half of MLK, Jr’s neck and jaw. He collapsed, one foot hanging off the railing, and died. Two months later, James Earl Ray was captured at London’s Heathrow Airport (on the same day that Senator Robert Kennedy, who was also assassinated, was laid to rest)…”
Even just reading through the well-written .pdf file brings back vivid memories for those alive at the time and a reason to be thankful for all the work done for those who were not.
Black History Month is celebrated in the United States and Canada in February and in the United Kingdom in October.