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,...
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...
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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...
at Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Friday, December 22, 2017
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...
at Friday, December 22, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
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...
at Monday, November 27, 2017
Friday, January 6, 2017
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...
at Friday, January 6, 2017
Monday, November 28, 2016
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...
at Monday, November 28, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
By Terri Lee Freeman
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...
at Wednesday, September 21, 2016