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Friday, June 14, 2024

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Night at the Lorraine serves up soul, spirit, symbolism

#ACCESS901 columnist Joy Doss

This was my third year attending Night at the Lorraine, as well as sitting on the host committee. The event is designed to bring positive attention to the fabled and famed Lorraine Motel, which now serves as the centerpiece of the series of exhibits housed at the National Civil Rights Museum.

The creators of the event wanted to highlight its place in American history beyond being the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last days and subsequent assassination.

The Lorraine was so much more. It was a place that was marked as a safe space in the Green Book for blacks who travelled. It was a place where some of the best and brightest political and creative minds in America converged.

Night at the Lorraine honors the soul, spirit and symbolism of the motel. Lyrics were written. Plans were hatched. Big ideas were birthed. This evening of music, food and fun captures it all.

Some of the city’s most heavily frequented restaurants were on hand to provide an array of food – Rendezvous, Hattie B’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Char, Crumpy’s and several others. True to Memphis, there was music in every corner, including a silent DJ!

We heard Memphis faves Stefani Bolton and Larry Springfield on the Main Stage, spent some time with jazzy-bluesy-soulful Susan Marshall and turned up with DJ Mary the K. But there were many others in the Ford Theatre and later on the Main Stage.

It was the perfect storm, thankfully with the actual storms predicted by the weatherman! YAY. Great weather, in fact. And there was swag, lots of swag.

It was another great year for Night at the Lorraine! We are all looking forward to doing it again next year and bringing more friends. I recommend!

Check out the pictures.

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