A media ride and drive event in Memphis several years ago left me with some free time in the afternoon before heading to the airport to return home. My colleague and I were wondering how to pass a few hours, when he suggested we visit the Lorraine Motel, the assassination site of Martin Luther King, Jr. which now houses the National Civil Rights Museum. It was an eye-opening afternoon for me: I was raised in Hawthorne, California, in the 1970s, and grew up with the understanding that all us kids were the same -- even though I was a white girl and I was the minority among my own diverse peer group.
More than 40 years ago, on April 4, 1968, the Lorraine Motel was a small minority-owned business in the south end of downtown Memphis. The motel's owner, Walter Lane Bailey preserved two rooms of his hotel as a shrine to Dr. King as well as to his wife, Lorraine, who died of a brain hemorrhage several hours after King was shot. Ultimately, the hotel closed down, and group of prominent Memphians, concerned that the historic site would be destroyed through neglect and indifference, formed the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation to save the Lorraine.
With support from the City of Memphis, Shelby County, the State of Tennessee, as well as many local banks, businesses, and community members, the National Civil Rights Museum opened its doors to visitors on September 29, 1991, and now houses a 12,800-square-foot exhibit titled "Exploring the Legacy." It also connects to the Main Street Rooming House across the street where James Earl Ray allegedly fired the fatal shot resulting in the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each year, the National Civil Rights Museum provides a memorial program on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, with an entire day of programs and activities to inspire new generations of leaders to service.
On this day each year, I'm challenged to consider how this holiday is relevant to a woman's automotive site, and I'm reminded of what things were like for black people during the 1960s. I didn't live through the Civil Rights era, so my understanding of racisim and segregation is guided largely by what I learned in history classes, by what I experienced during the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, and by considering the moving exhibits at the museum.
The civil rights laws of the 1960s were intended to prohibit race and gender discrimination in the handful of markets -- employment, housing, and public accommodations -- in which discrimination was perceived to be particularly acute. According to Thomas J. Sugure in his Case Study titled "Driving While Black: The Car and Race Relations in Modern America" I am reminded that issues of transportation were especially significant.
Continue reading "Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day #kingday2014" »
When the Kia Soul came to market in 2010, the company was trying to reinvent itself to appeal to the children of baby boomers, aka Gen Y. At the time, Tom Loveless, VP of Sales for Kia Motors said, “This is the tip of a very big iceberg. It’s the direction Kia is going.”
And I wrote, “Could it be that, by next year, it will actually be cool to own a Kia?”
My prediction was spot on. Kia has certainly upped its cool factor, especially with the Soul, an urban hatchback that, like Gen Y, is not cut from the mold.
The ad campaign for Soul, which started out featuring hamsters on wheels, was different from the get-go. Over the years, Kia has grown the hamster theme to incorporate everything from rapping and hip-hop hamsters to this year’s edition, Lady Gaga.
Continue reading "Kia's Newest Star: The 2014 Soul " »
Labor Day has passed, summer vacations are over, and the
kids are back in school; while it might seem that all the fun is behind us,
football fans welcome a new season of their favorite sport, celebrating many
weekend games in the parking lot of their team’s arena.
Whether you're a superfan or just love one, the start of the season means it's time for tailgating. And for those who love to entertain, tailgating is almost as much a sport as the game itself.
Continue reading "Top Tips for Tailgating " »
Now the best selling tour in the concert's 12-year history,
the 2013 Honda Civic Tour, has already sold more tickets than any other in the
Civic Tour’s history, with multiple sell-out venues. As part of the @HondaCivicTour, Honda
and Maroon 5 are giving fans a chance to win a customized and autographed
Maroon 5 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Honda CBR250R motorcycle. Both the car and
motorcyle were designed by the popular Los Angeles band. Unfortunately, Adam Levine is not included as part of the prize package.
Continue reading "2013 Honda Civic Tour Gives Fans A Chance To Win A Honda Civic Customized By Maroon 5 " »
Although most women do not go for big trucks, much less those
which would be considered ‘hardcore’ powerful trucks, there are still a few of us out
there who would choose a hardcore truck over any other vehicle option – foreign
Continue reading "Ford's 2013/2014 Shelby Raptor is one-of-a-kind truck for one-of-a-kind women" »
By Sue Mead
Knibbe Ranch, Spring
Branch, Texas: This celebrated cattle ranch in the Hill Country of Texas was
the perfect place for ‘The General’ to get back in the saddle! Now launching
its next-generation pickup trucks, General Motors is truly back in the truck wars and hosted the
first drive of its all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado at this working ranch that has been used for a
handful of years as the proving grounds to evaluate the country’s top trucks
each fall, in an annual shoot-out sponsored by the Texas Auto Writers
Continue reading "Driving The General’s Next-Gen Pickup: The All-New 2014 Chevy Silverado was Well Worth the Wait!" »
U.S. Pro Surfer and Pro Rally Star Team Up As Female First-Timers And
By Sue Mead
Casablanca to Essaouira, Morocco: It was no surprise that
pro navigator and rally driver Chrissie Beavis, 32, of San Diego, was
successful at the arduous and difficult navigation required of competitors in
the Gazelle Rally that brought
her team to an eighth-place finish out of 150 teams from 20 nations. After all,
the multi-talented Beavis has guided many celebrated drivers, such as Rhys
Millen, Tanner Foust, Ramana Lagamann and Seamus Burke to numerous stage and
overall wins, highlighted by a Pikes Peak win in 2005, a United States Rally
Championship win in 2006, and Gold and Silver Medals at the X-Games in 2007 and
2008. Beavis started campaigning her own Performance Stock Class car in 2005 in
the California Rally Series, and has also had class wins as a driver, with
several podium finishes.
Continue reading "2013 Ralleye Aicha des Gazelles Attracts Highest Number of U.S. Women Ever-and Nine Canadian Teams" »
Brasada Ranch, Redmond, Oregon: Attractive new styling, more powerful and efficient engines and some of the latest creature comforts, even at the entry-level model, define the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander; it’s a crossover sport utility vehicle that seats seven. Mitsubishi says the third-generation Outlander has some “ground-breaking safety features for its class”—and we agree. It is also the only SUV at its price in its segment with three-row seating that comes standard. The new model also gets improved aerodynamics and better sound insulation; high-end technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a crash-mitigation system. While Mitsubishi has not announced exact pricing, the new model will be priced close to the outgoing version, with an impressive array of added content over the previous generation.
Continue reading "The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Gets Complete Makeover: New Features and Prices Make it a Standout in its Class" »
The 2014 model year marks the 10th time Chevrolet has introduced a new Impala – and this little antelope, born in the Year of the Snake, is a refined, modern take on “The General’s” iconic five-passenger sedan. Its looks have not always been consistently stunning-in fact, the outgoing model was growing a bit long-in-the-tooth. However, the 2014 Chevy Impala’s design team has hit it out of the park with a gorgeous design that is equal parts American muscle and European sculpture.
Continue reading "2014 Chevrolet Impala: Chevy’s Iconic Flagship Takes Flight at a New Level" »
: For the 2013 model year Toyota is giving RAV4 customers a little less and a little more for their money. The “more” category includes a complete interior and exterior redesign, a new engine, new six-speed transmission, and new all-wheel-drive system. Under the “less” heading, Toyota has filed its V6 motor, which was previously available as an option on this compact SUV, as well as removed the optional 3rd-row seat. The 2013 RAV4
starts at $24,145, including destination. The 4th generation RAV4 is significantly more refined and distinct from the first models that came to market in 1994 as ’95 editions with little competition; since Toyota has sold 1.7 million RAV4s in 150 countries and says some 80 percent are still on the road. The latest edition now joins 45 crossovers, including its direct competitors, the Ford Escape
, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Chevy Equinox. Toyota’s California design team penned the new model for the U.S.; it gets 8 standard airbags (including driver side knee airbag, front passenger seat cushion airbag and side airbags for front and second row) and a standard backup camera, as well as optional goodies like Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
and a height-adjustable power liftgate.
Outside, the all-new RAV4 has the profile of an Olympic cyclist, with a low front bumper shape that wraps up from below like handlebars and a roofline that slopes steeply back from the A-pillar like a hunched-over speed racer. Glistening headlamps have an asymmetrical shape that slants inward toward the nose, which features a V-shaped grille that emphasizes this “cute ute’s” more aerodynamic look.
The rear of the ute, which features an integrated spoiler with LED lights, has a bulbous shape that belies the cargo space inside. We’re thrilled that a liftgate replaces the swinging rear door of previous model years which also held the spare tire; standard steel wheels are 17 inches, with 17- and 18-inch alloys available on higher-end trim lines. The spare is now tucked under the cargo floor.
Continue reading "2013 Toyota RAV4: Large Update for a Big Player in the Small-Sized Segment by Sue Mead" »