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Category: Freedom Award

Museum Statement Regarding the Passing of Bill Russell

The National Civil Rights Museum mourns the passing of 2011 Freedom Award honoree and sports pioneer, William Felton Russell. Following baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s example, Bill Russell believed it was his responsibility as a celebrity to use his platform to stand up for positive social change. Bill Russell was an outspoken advocate for civil rights. He was one of the first celebrities to proudly call himself “Black,” when “Negro" was still the accepted... Read More
at Sunday, July 31, 2022
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Museum Statement Regarding the Passing of Sidney Poitier

The National Civil Rights Museum joins the world in grieving the loss of a great icon and its 2001 Freedom Award honoree, Mr. Sidney Poitier. Poitier was a trailblazing thespian and staunch civil rights activist that remained true to his principles.  His art reflected his convictions.  Because of that, the world reimagined Black culture during a transformative period that challenged racial prejudice and social norms. On stage, screen, and in real life, Poitier reflected a... Read More
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Museum Statement on the Passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The National Civil Rights Museum grieves the loss of world leader and 1992 Freedom Award honoree, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu became the first black Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975, Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985, and Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986. Under his vigorous leadership, the church in South Africa became immersed in the political struggle. He was chosen by President Mandela to chair South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to investigate the crimes... Read More
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Museum Statement on the Passing of Secretary Colin Powell

The National Civil Rights Museum expresses deep sorrow in the passing of 1997 Freedom Award honoree, Secretary Colin L. Powell. Secretary Powell was appointed by President George W. Bush as the 65th Secretary of State in 2000, becoming the first African American Secretary of State in the U.S.  Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held a myriad of command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star general.  His last assignment, from... Read More
at Monday, October 18, 2021
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Museum Mourns the Passing of Freedom Award Honoree Frank Robinson

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... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Thursday, February 7, 2019
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