The National Civil Rights Museum is among 10 institutions the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today as recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service s , the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
Selected from 30...
Voter Suppression IS Voter Suppression
By Terri Lee Freeman, National Civil Rights Museum
President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Acts of 1965 with the intent of eliminating the legal barriers imposed at the state and local levels to prevent African Americans from exercising their legal right to vote as stated in the 15th Amendment. That amendment was ratified in 1870 and it guaranteed voting rights to all men regardless of race. It’s...
Thursday, February 7, 2019
We are saddened by the passing of baseball icon Frank Robinson, a Hall of Famer, two-time MVP, and MLB’s first African-American manager. He was honored by the National Civil Rights Museum with the Freedom Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
His contributions to civil rights and baseball were many, including the integration of black players in the league. While he was with us for the Freedom Award, he spoke often about the impact his mentor Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League...
at Thursday, February 7, 2019
By Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President
Our issues of hate are killing our country… still. Last fall, we witnessed NBC Today Show host Megyn Kelly state, “…when I was a kid that [using blackface] was okay if you were dressing up as a character.” Uh…no, Ms. Kelly, it wasn’t okay then, and it isn’t okay now.
And now, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s racist exploits, either as Michael Jackson in...
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