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Category: Presidential Medal of Freedom

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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