Feeling the blues on the civil rights trail

Feeling the blues on the civil rights trail View Gallery
The Lorraine Motel, now part of the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee Pic: Getty

50 years after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King jr, Isabel Conway travels to the heartland of the US civil rights struggle, through Tennessee and Mississippi

A retro neon sign, pastel-coloured 1960s-style architecture and two cars parked outside the motel – a white 1968 Cadillac and a 1959 Dodge Royal, all big green fins and glinting chrome fenders – are perfect flashbacks to Elvis Presley-era movies. Indeed, the king of rock ’n’ roll spent much of his private and recording life here in Tennessee, not far from where I now stand.

Text on the sign in front of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis commemorates a...

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