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

The Very Real Pain of Racism

By Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President I have always looked at the glass as half full as opposed to empty.  But even so, I consider myself more of a pragmatist than an optimist.  As an African American woman, I’ve experienced how ugly the world can be.  I’ve experienced both blatant and more insidious racism.  I’ve been called a nigger. I’ve been assumed to be the assistant to my white CFO when, in fact, I was the CEO.  I’ve watched... Read More
at Thursday, May 28, 2020
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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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Unsung Freedom Riders, Part II

Over the summer of 1961, 329 people from across the country, both black and white, boarded buses and headed south. The Freedom Rides set out to test federal law banning segregation in bus and train terminals across the South. After facing violence in Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi became the end of the line. From May to September, activists flooded into town. They came by bus and by airplane. Each in turn was arrested and photographed. The notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, known... Read More
at Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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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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We Were Prepared to Die: Freedom Riders

Fifty-nine years ago, the Freedom Rides of 1961 entered the state of Alabama. Potential violence awaited in Anniston and Birmingham. Below, the backstory of how the Freedom Rides began and how one of the most pivotal protests in the Civil Rights Movement came about. While we know the names of notable activists like James Lawson and Diane Nash, there are numerous overlooked details behind the scenes of this epic event. The Freedom Riders story began fifteen years earlier in 1946 when... Read More
at Thursday, May 14, 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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400 Years Later. The Historical Truth.

Sometime around August 20, 1619 (the exact date is not known), a ship arrived on the shores of Point Comfort, Virginia with between 20 and 30 Africans…and thus the Inter-Atlantic theft and enslavement of African people began. Thanks to the 1619 Project, an initiative of the New York Times , spearheaded by Nikole Hannah Jones, a staff writer for New York Times Magazine and a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, we have accurate information being openly discussed in the media about the true... Read More
at Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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More #StolenLives

MORE #STOLENLIVES When will it be enough? by Terri Lee Freeman President, National Civil Rights Museum In the span of 24 hours America was shaken by the report of two mass shootings resulting in the deaths of 31 people – 22 killed at a WalMart in El Paso, TX and 9 killed in Dayton, OH in an entertainment district.  Not unlike most everyone who breathes fresh air, my heart grieves for every family that said good-bye to their loved ones, not expecting it would be so... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson
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Museum Receives Top Honor

The National Civil Rights Museum is among 10 institutions the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today as recipients of the 2019  National Medal for Museum and Library Service s , the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. Selected from 30... Read More
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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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