The “Carrying the Dream” Exhibit held its opening reception at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum Friday, January 21. The exhibit centers on the hearse that carried Dr. Martin Luther King from the hospital in Memphis where he died in 1968 after his assassination to the Memphis airport where he was flown home.
The hearse is from Memphis’ R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home and was restored to pristine condition in 2018 by the owner of a Louisiana restaurant chain. In addition to its stop in Natchitoches, the exhibit will travel to venues throughout Louisiana. The exhibit consists of the hearse, an original art piece created by artist and Reginald F. Lewis Scholar Robert Hill, photographs, displays and memorabilia.
The opening program and reception featured NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones and VP for Diversity &
Inclusion Dr. Michael Snowden. NSU’s two Reginald F. Lewis Scholars, Derrick Varnado and Ebenezer Aggrey gave superbly moving speeches as did their fellow NSU Student William Robinson who spoke of the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Natchitoches.
Also joining members of the Natchitoches community at the opening reception were the NSU African-American Caucus, Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams and his wife, City Councilwoman Betty Sawyer-Smith, School Board Member Tan’Keia Palmer, State Representative Ed Larvadain of district 26 and Alexandria city councilman Gerber Porter. Natchitoches Junior High School’s Boys to Men club was also in attendance.
The “Carrying the Dream” Exhibit is a tangible link to a vital piece of American History that is still within living memory. The exhibit is well worth a visit!
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