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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...
“Don’t let anybody tell you what to do, be who you want to be.”
– Marsha P. Johnson
“We are people, of the mighty
Mighty people of the sun.”
– Earth Wind & Fire
This week’s theme is Pride & Identity. Pride & Identity is more than the celebration of self-acceptance. The songs on this week’s list show the challenges of being oneself in a world that is reluctant to accept our self-identity. This is...
The National Civil Rights Museum Celebrates Black Music Month
Music has been intrinsically linked with the Civil Rights Movement and African American history. Our celebration of Black Music Month began as a way to connect with you during this pandemic. However, as the current moment has unfolded, it has become a way for us to use music to educate, heal, reflect, and inspire.
Each week, we will release a themed playlist curated by the NCRM staff. Share with us your recommendations using...
Thursday, May 28, 2020
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...
at Thursday, May 28, 2020
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....
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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...
at Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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...
at Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Thursday, May 14, 2020
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...
at Thursday, May 14, 2020
Thursday, May 7, 2020
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...
at Thursday, May 7, 2020
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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...
at Tuesday, September 24, 2019