So, Friday marked the official start of our Spring Break, so I’m off for the week! 🙂 I was maybe thinking of going up to NY to spend the week with my family, but I decided against it and to just stay here in Nashville. While I do miss them and it’s been months since I’ve seen them, I’m going to be seeing them in a few weeks anyhow when I fly up next month to surprise my niece Angelina for her birthday. I’m only staying for a few days because I still have classes then, and if I know them–a few days will be MORE than enough time for me to spend with them before they start to wear on my nerves and drive me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love them–to death–I do, but they haven’t changed (and never will) so they’re still loud and obnoxious and constantly at each other’s throats…my grandmother and my mother especially. It’s gotten so that when my mother calls, I end up weighing the option of whether to answer or let it go to voice mail because it’s typically her calling to rant and bitch about whatever latest argument her and my grandmother got into and well…it gets old. And not only that, but I’m down here in Nashville…900 something miles away–I don’t exactly know what she expects me to do from here. That’s one of the things I LOVE about being down here…the peace and quiet. There’s no drama. It’s great. 🙂
Anyhow, since I’m on break and the weather was absolutely amazing today, I decided to take a little road trip to Memphis today to get some more pictures for my photo history project due when we get back from break. It was a nice-ish drive…three hours and miles of potholes–there and back. I didn’t really have a planned itinerary set or anything, so I was just playing it by ear. My first stop ended up being Graceland–because you can’t go to Memphis and not go to Graceland obviously–which was nice. I ended up taking the Mansion tour, which was really neat…though I’m not really sure why they call it a mansion because it really isn’t all that huge. The estate is though. There’s stables and all these different buildings. I was sneaky while I was on the tour inside the house and Skyped my grandmother so she could see inside Graceland. She’s a big Elvis fan–even had tickets to see his show when he came to upstate NY–but I think he died a few weeks before the date of the show, so she never got to see the show. The house is beautiful inside, though some of the interior rooms’ decor styles are a little too 70’s-ish for me. The yellow room…the pool table room–though the colors are incredible in that room–they’re bound to give someone a headache if they stand in there and stare at the walls for any length of time. After the tour through the house, I wandered outside and around the estate, snapping pictures of EVERYTHING, especially the trees. There’s so many pretty trees on that estate, I’m telling you. The mediation garden would be my first choice favorite part of the estate though. That’s where Elvis and his mother are buried and there’s this big fountain behind the graves and headstones, and a brick wall with these stain-glassed windows…so pretty. Second best spot would have to be at the street entrance to the Graceland estate with the pretty green gates and brick wall lining the property that people have been writing their names and messages and tributes to Elvis on for years. It’s really cool.
After Graceland, I headed downtown to Mulberry Street, more specifically the Lorraine Hotel, which serves as the location of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. The hotel has been completely preserved and is now part of the National Civil Rights Museum, along with the adjacent buildings–one of which is where the shooter fired the shot that killed MLK. There’s a wreath hanging from the 2nd floor balcony in front of Room 206, memorializing the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. was standing when he was shot and killed. The original two cars that were parked out front of the hotel at the time of the assassination are still parked there and have been preserved as part of the museum/site. It was a pretty surreal thing, standing there, maybe 10 feet or so from the spot where one of the most famous civil rights activist was murdered. You know when people ask you what famous person you’d want to meet if they were still alive–well, Martin Luther King, Jr. is definitely high on MY list. People nowadays are still so narrow-minded that they think you have to be black to be inspired by MLK…and it’s completely false. MLK fought and campaigned for the equality of all races, white AND black. He wasn’t even anyone important…just an ordinary man with a family and the pastor of a church who believed in and fought for his cause with a bravery that isn’t often seen. He put himself and welfare of his family and his friends in jeopardy by doing what he did, especially by being a colored man in the South in the 60’s. Every march, every rally, every speech–he risked incarceration and/or death. Even then, his determination and courage never wavered. He should be an inspiration to everyone not because of the color of his skin, but because he stood up for something he believed in…even if that cost him his life in the end. It’s just so unfortunate and sad that he didn’t get to see his cause get to fruition. If only he could see it now…and the great strides of progress racial equality we have made since then….hell, we have a black President. I mean, who’d have thought in the 60’s that we’d elect a black president some 50-ish years in the future? I’m guessing not many. With all this progress, however, also comes the setbacks. We may have a black president and black politicians…but racism is still an issue. There’s still individuals and groups like the KKK that are still racist. Personally, I don’t get it. Never have. Never will. I just don’t see why the color of someone’s skin determines the way people see and interact with one another. I have friends that are black…and they’re awesome. As for inter-racial dating and marriages issue…I don’t have a problem with it. I mean, if you love someone and want to be with that person, skin color should never be a deciding factor. The heart wants what it wants…and honestly, it shouldn’t be up to politicians and society to judge or dictate a person’s relationship. It’s no one’s business but theirs. Would I ever date or marry someone that’s black? Probably not. And that’s not because I’m a racist–I’m not–I just think it can be really hard for the children in bi-racial families…BECAUSE there’s still that stigma, whether society wants to admit it or not, it’s there. It’s one thing for an adult to deal with racism and prejudice…but the children are the ones that suffer most–whether they inherited their Dad’s dark skin color, or their Mom’s fair-skin, or a mix of both. People are still going to whisper and judge. Bigots beget bigots. It’s so messed up, but these racist people with kids either don’t realize it–or they don’t care–but they’re essentially raising a new generation of racists. We know those kids that hear their mom and dad make racist comments at the dinner table are going to go to school tomorrow and repeat those degrading, racist remarks to the bi-racial kid in the class…and actually think it’s okay because they’re imitating their parents. And your parents are supposed to be your role models, so they have to be right, RIGHT? Ummm, NO! That’s how I feel about it. If and when I do decide to settle down and start a family, I don’t think I’d want to bring a child into this world that’s already bad and prejudiced enough…the baby’d be starting life with a disadvantage…and that’s just not right. Or fair. It sucks, but that’s just how it is. Hopefully my kids and grand-kids will be the generation that eradicates racism once and for all. One can only hope.
Yeah, so after that I checked out the Riverfront and Downtown and Beale Street, of course. All in all, it was a great day. 🙂
Thought I’d share some pics from the trip–P.S. I got a little camera happy. 🙂 🙂