National Civil Rights Museum News

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

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

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

#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