National Civil Rights Museum News

There’s plenty of history in the making here at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Let’s stop tearing down community and build something we can all be proud of

By Terri Lee Freeman In early October the National Civil Rights Museum, along with Bridges and Facing History and Ourselves, launched a campaign to encourage empathy. Our  Open Up. Spark a Connection.  campaign was created to get people to do just what it says,  open up !   In the face of our national discourse, or possibly the lack thereof, being empathetic and recognizing the “others” as ourselves couldn’t be more important. ... Read More
at Monday, November 5, 2018

How are the Children?

I often think of a customary greeting in some African countries, ‘How are the Children?”  The response is generally, “The children are well.”  The question is asked because child well-being is a good measure of community well-being.  Regrettably, we cannot provide that response. By all measures the children are not at all well.  The policy to separate children from parents who illegally cross the border, emphasizes just how poorly the children are,... Read More

Thank You!

By Terri Lee Freeman Museum President A little over a month ago, we were singularly focused on MLK50.  Not just the commemoration itself, but for the National Civil Rights Museum, each individual event.  We worked to ensure that people were where they needed to be, that programs were rich in content and scope, that the speakers, panelists, civil rights icons and new movement makers were in place to share their stories and perspectives, that the logistics, technology, broadcasts... Read More
at Wednesday, May 9, 2018

In Memoriam - Art Shay

By Dr. Noelle N. Trent,  Director of Interpretation, Collections & Education  Nearly one month after his 96th birthday, April 28,  Chicago-based, Bronx-born photographer Art Shay passed away.  The name Art Shay may be unfamiliar, but his work is prominently featured in the museum’s newest exhibition  MLK50: A Legacy Remembered .  I first became acquainted with Shay’s work, when his archivist Erica called me, and asked... Read More

Museum Statement on the Passing of Hugh Masekela and Wyatt Tee Walker

  January 23, 2018 will go down in civil rights history as a sad day.  Two of the icons of the 20th century civil rights movement made their transition – Ramapolo Hugh Masekela and Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. Hugh Masekela was a renowned South African composer.  In a career spanning more than five decades, Masekela gained international recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as “Soweto Blues”, which served as one of the soundtracks... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Museum Statement on the Removal of Confederate Statues

The National Civil Rights Museum applauds the City of Memphis and the Memphis City Council for identifying a solution and removing the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis. We also applaud the efforts of concerned citizens who brought attention to the issue and diligently pushed for resolution. For decades, these statues have haunted African Americans in this community, symbolizing oppression, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism.  These figures represented a time... Read More
at Friday, December 22, 2017

The Importance of #GivingTuesday

For me, the month of November is always a bit nostalgic.  It’s hard to think about Thanksgiving and not think about the many Thanksgivings that helped create the traditions our family now holds so dear.  The idea that on the fourth Thursday in November we would spend a day with family and friends, savoring traditional dishes and family specialties that were often only prepared once or twice per year.  Enjoying the fact that kids would be able to listen in on the... Read More
at Monday, November 27, 2017

TWENTYSEVENTEEN

By Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President 2017 has arrived. How I wish I could list the incredible accomplishments that took place in 2016 to provide equitable access to opportunity, move justice forward, and ensure freedom. But frankly, I honestly believe 2016 was one of the most challenging years we’ve experienced in quite some time.  Global violence at the hands of lone-wolf terrorists, as well as too frequent video of deadly interactions between police and community; even... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Friday, January 6, 2017

Three Lessons from the Election

By Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President   Like Everyone in America, I have spent time reflecting on the election.  Not just Tuesday, November 8, but the 18 months leading up to Election Day.  Three elements of this election have stood out and provide us with an agenda for the future. We have the privilege and responsibility to exercise our right to vote .  Why a privilege and not a right?   We believe our nation’s very existence is based on the... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Monday, November 28, 2016

Wake Up America!

By Terri Lee Freeman Museum President Something is drastically wrong in America.  It was earlier this summer when we thought we had seen the worst of the assaults on African-American men by police and the justice system.  But, in the words of Yogi Berra, "it's deja vu all over again."  Yesterday morning, September 20, we woke up to reports of Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed African-American man, being shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The helicopter pilot... Read More
at Wednesday, September 21, 2016