Each year, eighth grade students at Alain Locke Charter School take a trip that brings their education to life and adds to their global competence. This year, students at Alain Locke were busy raising money through a lemonade sale and a Spring Fling dance for the much anticipated World Studies Trip to Memphis, TN. Having recently returned, eighth grader, Marquis Roberts, shared his experiences, noting that he will “remember this for life.”
Arriving on the death of the iconic artist, Riley B.B. King, students honored his life and music by walking down the world famous Beale Street and eating at BB King’s Blues Club. Marquis enjoyed learning about the history of his music career and was proud to be in Memphis on that day. “It was an honor to be in a place that was dedicated to him.”
Marquis stated that the Rock N’Roll museum was a “must-see.” It was here that they learned about the birth of rock and soul music that influenced our nation. While Marquis remembers the story and costumes of the infamous Elvis Presley, he was fascinated with the evolution of music. “It was fun seeing how the music developed, how jazz came to be, and how the style was back then.”
While Marquis had previously learned about the Underground Railroad in class, the history came to life at the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. As they stepped in the same, small house that abolitionists and slaves had once stepped in, Marquis was shocked at the size. “The hiding spots were so secret. You couldn’t even tell if it was a hiding spot or not. It was shocking at how small it was.”
The most powerful experience was the Civil Rights Museum. Located at the Lorraine Motel, Marquis was able to stand in the exact place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. “It was such a powerful experience, and being there sent chills down my spine.” As he discovered details about this day and significant era, history came to life.
Through the Alain Locke World Studies Trip, Marquis was able to leave the classroom and the city to learn about eras and events that shaped our entire world. Memories were created as he explored the historic city of Memphis, TN. “This was an awesome experience. It is something we can put in our 2015 memories and remember for life.”