National Civil Rights Museum News

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Category: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Museum Selects Russell Wigginton as New President

The National Civil Rights Museum has named Dr. Russell Wigginton as the museum’s next president.  Wigginton will begin his new position on August 1. He brings 29 years of experience in education, philanthropy, executive management and program development, as well as strategic planning and partnership building. Museum Board Chairman Herb Hilliard stated, “We are fortunate to be able to attract someone of Russ’s background and experience to serve as our next President.... Read More
at Thursday, July 1, 2021
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Statement on the Verdict of the Derek Chauvin Case on the Murder of George Floyd

The verdict is in. Derek Chavin is guilty on all counts. What does this mean? Justice was served in this case. Justice prevailed. But the justice we need is bigger than the verdict of this one case. Hopefully, this case will set a precedent for the verdicts to come for the many other victims of unjust police killings. We thank the jury for bravely doing the right thing. Our heart is with George Floyd’s family who has endured the devastation of his death. In too many instances,... Read More
at Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Farewell Terri

By Herb Hilliard Chair, Museum Board of Directors Terri Lee Freeman answered the call to lead the National Civil Rights Museum in November 2014. She arrived just a few months after the museum’s most expansive renovation. She came to the museum understanding the huge investment and brought with her a new perspective on what the museum could represent in not only telling the story of the civil rights movement, but extending the story through the museum’s outreach and... Read More
at Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Museum Statement Regarding the Insurrection at Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021

Museum Statement Regarding the Insurrection at Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 Dr. King once said, “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” Words matter.  Leadership matters. The siege on Capitol Hill yesterday during the joint Congress’ ratification of the presidential election should be condemned, not coddled. What the world witnessed yesterday was not a protest, but a riotous mob and an insurrection. We need to call... Read More
at Thursday, January 7, 2021
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Dear White People

I write this letter today because I am both exhausted and frustrated. I can only imagine what Dr. King was feeling when he wrote his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. I'm angry at a nation that I love but doesn’t seem to love me back. Recently, we got a first-hand look at the two justice systems that exist in our America – one for Blacks and one for Whites. Kenosha, Wisconsin, a city with a Black population of 11.46%, was the site of a recent police shooting of a Black man.... Read More
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Bayard Rustin: Strategist, Organizer, Unifier

As he approached the podium, Bayard Rustin was determined and elated. He expected about 100,000 marchers to converge at the Washington Monument on August 28, 1963. To his delight, approximately 250,000 people cheered as he listed the demands of the march. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom began after eight weeks of recruiting marchers, coordinating buses and marshals, scheduling speakers, and managing logistics. Despite Rustin’s critical role as the march’s chief... Read More
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Black America Gets Pneumonia

From Black Enterprise , May 24, 2020 by Terri Lee Freeman Just as 9/11 defined the new millennium, the novel coronavirus will certainly be the story of the decade.  The global pandemic has caused a devastating public health crisis, initiated a global economic disaster, and in the United States, pulled back the curtain on the  deep-rooted racial inequities  that persist. Just as COVID-19 is a deadly virus, so is the disease of racism, particularly systemic racism.... Read More
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Gradual Matriculation: Brown vs. Board of Education

White columns guide you when entering the Brown vs Board of Education exhibition. On the right are pews and a short video recapping the world-changing U.S. Supreme Court decision on May 17, 1954, 66 years ago this week.  For 89 years, schools across the South were racially segregated and drastically different. Despite a court order stating “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional, inequity ran rampant in southern schools. The NAACP successfully argued that... Read More
at Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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The Children Shall Lead Them: Birmingham 1963

As you move through the galleries of the National Civil Rights Museum, you follow a timeline of struggle and strength. The sounds of freedom songs trail behind you as you step into Birmingham, Alabama – a town that became known as “Bombingham” and the center of the Civil Rights Movement. On a busy day, you might notice a life-size image of a young girl holding a sign: “Can a man love God and hate his brother?”  Your attention might be drawn to the replica... Read More
at Thursday, May 7, 2020
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VOTER SUPPRESSION IS VOTER SUPPRESSION

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... Read More
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