These 2 Music Museums Have Just Been Added to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail — How to Visit

The historic trail now has 14 stops in Tennessee.

Stax Museum of America Soul Music, Memphis, Tennessee
The exterior of the Stax Museum of America Soul Music in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

A pair of museums in Tennessee were added to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail this week, just in time for the start of Black History Month.

The National Museum of African American Music, in Nashville, and The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, in Memphis, were added to the trail, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development announced on Tuesday.

"What happened in Tennessee changed the world and through the power of music of the movement [and] visitors can learn about that legacy at world-class destinations like Stax and NMAAM," Mark Ezell, the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development said in a statement. "Visitors can walk in the footsteps of the brave men and women who stood up for equal rights."

National Museum of African American Music opened last year, while The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, sits on the original site of Stax Records studio, paying tribute to the artists who recorded there.

Interior of The National Museum Of African American Music
The National Museum Of African American Music (NMAAM) exhibit in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason Kempin/Getty Images

There are now 14 Tennessee stops along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, which connects 15 states and Washington D.C.

Travelers who visit spots along the trail can get a digital passport stamped and redeem those stamps for prizes like a custom T-shirt or a Tennessee Civil Rights Trail medallion and a wooden display case.

In addition to the two museums, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development also expanded the Clayborn Temple site in Memphis to now include the "I AM A MAN" plaza, which features a sculpture with the names of people who participated in the 1968 Memphis sanitation strikes.

Other sites in Tennessee include the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, as well as Woolworth on 5th, the site of some of the first lunch counter sit-ins in the 1960s.

Throughout the United States, travelers can visit places like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland to learn more about Black history.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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