Memphis Civil Rights Tour

Very creative art located around the civil rights tour of Memphis

The Lorraine motel. The location where MLK was assassinated

Legal studies association before eating Memphis soul food. Martin Luther King Jr. frequented this same restaurant.

Malik Bryant (Left) Britane Hubbard (Middle) Dr. David Tushaus (Right)

An original structure on Historic Beale Street

Listening to live jazz music.

What a cool experience!

Eugenia Wallace, Britane Hubbard, Professor David Tushaus, and Leighandra Hazlett on Historic Beale Street (Left to Right)

Rosa Parks exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Picture of Dr. King from the National Civil Rights Museum

The exact place James Earl Ray stood when he assasinated Dr. King

(Right in front of the window)

Side 1 of 2

Histrocial Marker of our tour guide Elaine Lee's family recognizing them as the most arrested family in the country during the Civil Rights Movement.

Side 2 of 2

Histrocial Marker of our tour guide Elaine Lee's family recognizing them as the most arrested family in the county during the Civil Rights Movement.

The Legal Studies Association napping on the long road trip to Memphis.

The Legal Studies Association right before the historical tour of Memphis.

Sarah Wilson (left) and Britane Hubbard (right) right before touring the Slave Haven Underground Railroad museum.

A sculpture at the I Am A Man Plaza next to the Clayborn Temple where Dr. King gave his last speech.

From left to right: Seth Frye, Bodie McLin, Leo Grantham, Britane Hubbard, Professor Tushaus, and Leighandra Hazlett on the roof top of the Peabody Hotel.

My name is Bodie McLin, I am a junior at MWSU. I had the privilege of attending this amazing trip to Memphis and it exceeded my expectations ten fold. To start off we were accompanied by a great Professor in Mr. Tushaus, his enthusiasm and excitement was immediately translated to all the students as we boarded the van for a long eight hour drive. I was expecting my experience to begin once I arrived in Tennessee but I could not have been off base. From the start I was able to immerse myself in the group and start to learn what different personalities I would be surrounded with for the next four days, the wide variety of majors allowed me to gain a different perspective on what everyone hoped to get from the trip. Attending such a trip was immediately beginning to be the highlight of my time at Missouri Western. After arriving in Tennessee we had the pleasure of staying at a very nice hotel, the complementary cookies were a hit and it was a great way to be welcomed to the city. On the first day I was aware we would be checking out an old house that was apart of the Underground railroad, and that was the extent of my knowledge on our activities of the day. We were graciously met by Ruth Elaine, in front of The Mason Church, she began to inform us of the significance of this church as it was the grounds where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous "I've Been to the Mountaintops " Speech. She was very knowledgeable in the events that had occurred, often citing specific dates and numbers purely from memory. We then proceeded on to a bus that took us around town, Elaine stopping periodically to point out historical areas such as; the first African American owned hospital, landmarks of sit-ins, and even locations of Slave markets. We finally reached our destination, Safe Haven Underground Railroad Museum. I was immediately curious of the odd, small hole in the front of the house that could have possibly been used by slaves to escape anti-abolitionist. another thing that stood out were the massive ever-green trees outside the house. Elaine informed me that we would be getting to the history of that later and that there was plenty more to see inside. From there she began to give a guided tour of the house that covered everything from the trans Atlantic trade route, Slave auctions, and secret codes slaves would use to escape to freedom. One interesting fact that I took away from that museum, is slightly morbid, but it is important that, while all history is not positive, it is still history and should be passed along, is that sharks still swim the route, because after centuries of the deceased being dumped over board, it became encoded in sharks DNA that there would be food along that specific route. At the end of the tour, as we headed back to Mason Temple, Elaine began the self-disclose her own involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. After finding out that not only did she speak with Dr. King and march with him in the famous Selma March, but her and her 6 sisters and 7 brothers were known "As the most arrested family in Civil rights" and that her sisters, known as 'The Lee Sisters' had their own historical marker in downtown Memphis that was located in front of the first place she had ever done a sit-in. Not to hate on the rest of the tour, but hearing from her own personal testimony of the events still gives me chills thinking about it. She is a national hero in my eyes and meeting her and having the privileged to shake her hand was absolutely priceless. Starting the second morning in Memphis we arrived at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated, this historical cite was particularly interesting because they had preserved the 1960s, complete with a 1968 Cadillac parked outside. The museum was full of information about civil rights, it was like walking through a history book, it started with the slave trade, and ended with how African Americans have impacted the culture of America, with their music, food, dance and lifestyle. One thing that stood out to me was the amount of detail many of the exhibits went into to tell the whole story, there were pictures, timelines, statues, and audios that you can listen to that would give you the full experience. The museum covered so many events, The Little Rock 9, Rosa Parks, Freedom Rides, and many more, I could have easily spent 6 hours there and not have seen or read everything. The museums were just the tip of the iceberg, we experienced amazing food and music that just rounded out a great weekend. Overall my experience on this adventure was one full of eye-opening experiences, jaw dropping realizations and an abundance of information that i will be honored to pass on to anyone who is willing to listen to me ramble on. I want to take this time to thank Missouri Western for allowing me to be involved in a life-changing trip, I will forever be grateful to Dr. Tushaus for taking in this lone Social Work student and making me feel welcome. I hope there are other chances to learn of our nations history, as I will be the first to sign up.

The Slave Trade

During our tour of the Slave Haven Museum by Elaine Lee, we learned that this was the route slave ships took to the Americas, as well as other slave related imports and exports. Elaine told us that if slaves died or misbehaved on the ships, they would be thrown overboard. She spoke of the sharks that followed the ships in their voyage because they were guaranteed a meal. What is so interesting is that hundreds of years later, sharks still swim in this triangle. The slave trade impacted every aspect of nature.

Thank you!

I would like to personally thank every person that made this trip and applied learning experience possible. The information I learned, and memories that I made are invaluable. I am thankful to have had this opportunity with my peers. What a wonderful way to wrap up my educational experience here at Missouri Western State University. Thank you!


Leighandra Hazlett

This applied learning experience was eye opening and educational. I want to thank everyone that made this trip possible. I also want to specifically thank Professor Tushaus for driving and sharing with us a passion for civil rights and justice. There are so many aspects of this trip that made it exceptional and I am grateful to have had this experience before graduating from Missouri Western State University in May.


Britane Hubbard

I would like to thank Professor Tushaus, the Legal Studies Association, and Missouri Western State University for making this applied learning experience trip to Memphis possible. It was quite the experience to be immersed in American history for the weekend. Perhaps the most memorable part of this trip for me was to meet Elaine Lee and to hear her personal experiences leading up to and following the Civil Rights movement. Elaine is one of seven sisters who helped advance the Civil Rights movement. Elaine and her sister Joan co-founded Heritage Tours and the Salve Haven Museum in Memphis. The sisters continue to educate the community by providing an exceptional tour experience for those who pass through Memphis, Tennessee. Thank you again for providing us with this exceptional learning experience.


Carly Ardussi

My name is Cassidy Ellis, I am a Criminal Justice with Concentration in Legal Studies major at Missouri Western. I recently had the opportunity to tour Memphis and its mesmerizing history with the Legal Studies Association and I will admit I was hesitant at first. I am all for traveling and visiting the past history that our states have to offer us, and this one did not disappoint. I am currently taking government and we had just been talking about the slave routes and how the government and people treated the African Americans. I understood what happened in the past but seeing everything versus reading about it in a book or on some powerpoint slides is a total different experience. When touring the house that was believed to help slaves run for freedom we were walked down into the basement and as we were all standing shoulder to shoulder in almost pure darkness other than the added natural light I could not help but feel scared. I would ask myself a million questions of what those people were thinking and I could not help but think they were scared because in that moment of all the thinking going through my head I told myself “I would rather of died than to be caught” so maybe that is how they felt as well. That house changed everything I thought I knew about slavery, and segregation. On Sunday we had the opportunity to tour the Civil Rights Museum and again I was just in amazement that we could do that to our own people. Children were being killed for their skin color and as a softball coach to twenty-four young adults who are the same age and some a year or two older than those kids my heart shattered, for them and for their families. Memphis captured more than just the past of our country, it captured the spirit of it too. I will forever be grateful for the experience that everyone allowed me to have this past weekend.

Thank you!

Cassidy Ellis

Memphis was a trip that I will never forget. My favorite part about the trip was the applied learning experiences. As a group we had the privilege to go on a Heritage Tour conducted by Elaine L. Turner. Turner and Mr. Leo (our driver) took us through the city of Memphis and explained the great history. We visited a Slave haven, Beal street, and other historic landmarks. Elaine was a very informative and inspiring woman. In fact, she not only grew up in Memphis, she was heavily involved with the Civil Rights Movement. Her sister and herself were the most arrested group in the city for sit-ins. She not only marched along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she created an avenue that will teach and inform others about that time in history. She not only inspired me to be a better person, but a better leader.

-Eugenia Wallace