D'Army Bailey

 Honor Bailey




        I believe the minutes will show how tightly the conservative board has run the property, stacked the board membership with their own cronies, and how little interest or committment they have to our freedom struggle.  Few of this predominantly white board have even remote connections or record of concern or sympathy to the struggle for civil rights.  You will not find anywhere in these board minutes of the last five years any discussion or interest about the black struggle or how to engage people to carry on the struggle for which Dr. King died.
         These minutes also show how the leaders of the Board have used         Dr. KIng's assassination site primarily for self promotion.  The Board is dominated by corporate and business people with interlocking personal, business and family ties.  They have done little to correct repeated financial and operational mismanagement leading to poor maintenance and repeated borrowing to keep the doors open.
        The board is asking the state on December 13th to give it a forty year lease on the Lorraine Motel site which will give it unfettered control of this part of our history and the message told there.  Tennnessee's black state legislators are key to whether this happens.  You must circulate this information and let our legislators know that you demand a new board.
        Least we forget that this isn't just any museum anywhere.  TheNationalCivilRightsMuseum sits on sacred ground where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died, or more correctly stated, where his life was snatched by an assassin's bullet.   We must find the will to protect this haloed ground with the same tenacity Dr. King fought and died for all our Civil Rights.   This is your last chance to take a stand.
D'Army Bailey



            Twenty years ago, the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated, was turned into a National Civil Rights Museum. The chair of the executive committee of its board, J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III, is a wealthy white Republican. Charged with safeguarding a vital landmark in the nation's racial history, Hyde lobbied for the defeat of Harold Ford Jr.'s bid for the vacant Senate seat from Tennessee in what was widely regarded as the most racist campaign of the 2006 election. While Hyde has been representing the civil rights museum, the company he founded, AutoZone, has been embroiled in a longstanding EEOC racial discrimination lawsuit.  Recently the board discussed exercising an option to buy the museum building from the State of Tennessee, which owns it, for $1. (Apparently they never made a formal offer, as they knew it would be rejected.) Black history on sale at bargain prices.                              (READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE)