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New exhibits await visitors at renovated National Civil Rights Museum

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One of the first exhibits you will see at the National Civil Rights Museum is the slave ship with life-sized characters. Museum visitors are invited to sit in cramped conditions where Africans sat during their brutal trip to America. One of the first exhibits you will see at the National Civil Rights Museum is the slave ship with life-sized characters. Museum visitors are invited to sit in cramped conditions where Africans sat during their brutal trip to America.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The $27 million renovation to the National Civil Rights Museum will include an interactive journey through the civil rights movement.

The transformation of the old Lorraine Motel site where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated will allow visitors to experience what slaves went through on their journey to America.

One of the first exhibits you will see at the National Civil Rights Museum is the slave ship with life-sized characters. Museum visitors are invited to sit in cramped conditions where Africans sat during their brutal trip to America.

"They make it seem like the visitor is part of the experience," said the renovation advisor Daniel Kiel.

Throughout the museum, interactive displays show visitors everyday life for the millions of people kidnapped and forced into the slave trade.

"It was the largest forced human migration in history," said renovation advisor Dr. Earnestine Jenkins.

Other exhibits show visitors how men and women who were sold like cattle became the backbone of the U.S. economy. Also on display, exhibits that teach about successful black businesses, black pride, and black faith in religion.

"Because the church and that spiritual center was one of the most important cultural traditions that was maintained and came out of slavery," explained Jenkins.

The exhibit honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is said to be one of the most emotional. King's room and the balcony where he was shot appear to be frozen in time.

Another part of the museum honors the sanitation workers, who Dr. King came to Memphis to support.

In another room, a replica bus honors freedom riders who helped integrate restaurants and other public places. The exhibit shares the story about Rosa Parks and the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The goal at the newly renovated and interactive National Civil Rights Museum is for visitors to leave with a greater commitment for Civil Rights and a greater respect for human rights.

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