National Civil Rights Museum News

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

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 | 1 comments

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 | 1 comments

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 | 0 comments

Missing the Olympics

By Terri Lee Freeman Museum President It’s been little more than a week since the closing ceremony of one of the most memorable Olympic competitions in history.  The United States secured its largest number of medals ever in a non-boycotted Olympics.  The Rio Olympics saw a number of firsts – the first refugee team, the first African American woman to medal in an individual swimming event (gold no less!), the first American female to win gold in wrestling, Ibtihaj... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Thursday, September 1, 2016 | 0 comments

#StolenLives – More shootings? What's going on?

Commentary by Terri Lee Freeman President, National Civil Rights Museum Three mornings this week we’ve awakened to news of horrific violence. Three incidents. Seven people dead. Two dead from police violence. Five dead from retaliation.  36 hours. Senseless.  My heart grieves for every family that has suddenly lost a loved one.  My heart grieves for our nation.   We are living in perilous times.  Times where individuals have become emboldened in their... Read More

A Humanitarian, A Gentle-Man

Commentary by Terri Lee Freeman President, National Civil Rights Museum   On Saturday, July 2, 2016, the world lost a survivor, an advocate, a teller of truth, and a believer that ALL human life has merit and purpose. Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor, an author and a Freedom Award recipient in 1995. He worked to ensure that we would never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust and continued to draw attention to the horrors of genocide throughout the world. He... Read More

Love Can Save Us

By Terri Lee Freeman   Museum President The Sunday morning news account of the horrific and tragic slaughter that occurred at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida was particularly disturbing to me. For one thing, it brought back memories of two tragic events that I worked through in Washington, DC – September 11 th at the Pentagon and the Naval Yard shooting. In my mind, all I could think about were the families and the trauma they are now facing.   But I... Read More

The Famous Lorraine Motel

The Lorraine Motel was forever etched in America’s collective memory with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, but even before that fateful day, the property at 450 Mulberry Street had a fascinating history in its own right. Before it was the Lorraine, it was the Marquette Hotel that catered to black clientele in segregated Memphis. Then, in 1945 black businessman Walter Bailey purchased the hotel, which he re-christened the Lorraine after his wife Loree and the... Read More

In Memory of Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles. Our deepest condolences to the Kyles family. Rev. Kyles was a beloved member of the National Civil Rights Museum family and a lifelong member of the National Civil Rights Museum board of directors. As a lasting tribute, he will be named board member emeritus.   In death, as in life, Rev. Kyles' highly acclaimed story as the last “witness" to Dr. King’s final hours will remain in the The... Read More

48 Years Later…

  By Terri Lee Freeman   Museum President   April 4, 1968 was a dark day in our nation’s history. On that date we lost the hope of many. For some, it simply solidified what they believed to be true -- that hate and evil win once again. And, still for others the message was sent that even with civil rights gains, race relations in the United States of America had a long way to go.   Today, in 2016, it is clear that that last statement remains true,... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Monday, April 4, 2016