National Civil Rights Museum News

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

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We’ve Got Work To Do

    By Terri Lee Freeman   Museum President       On Saturday, August 15, 2015 the fight for freedom lost a soldier – Julian Bond. The life of Julian Bond is a message to young and old alike. As a college student, Julian Bond took the role of activist seriously, dropping out of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia to further his involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), eventually leading a sit-in at... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Monday, August 17, 2015

Confederate Manifesto: Southern Heritage or Southern Injustice

  by Ryan M. Jones, Museum Educator       In the recent weeks across the nation, the tension and controversy surrounding the flag of the Confederate States of America have hit its boiling point. With the senseless tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine African Americans were executed during Bible study by a young white male, racial tension is at its peak. The photographs of the 21-year-old mass murderer holding the Confederate flag have circulated... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Wednesday, July 29, 2015


  By Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President           Last week, the Museum had the opportunity to play a small role in the home going service for our last living founder, D’Army Bailey. On Friday, July 17, five days following his transition, his body laid-in-state at the National Civil Rights Museum, the institution he fought to ensure came to fruition. On the following Saturday, Judge Bailey was eulogized by former President William... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Who was Elbert Williams?

  By Jim Emison   Jim Emison is an author and retired courtroom lawyer who has spent three and a half years investigating Elbert Williams’s murder and is writing a book, Elbert Williams: First to Die.  To read Emison’s article on Elbert Williams in the Encyclopedia of African American History and a short bio of the author go to .       Medgar Evers, Emmett Till, James... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 11, 1963

  by Ryan M. Jones   Tuesday, June 11, 1963 was a sweaty and humid day. The weather fit the climate of tension around Tuscaloosa, Alabama and throughout the state. For months, the University of Alabama was on edge and judgment had finally arrived. Two African-American students were going to be enrolled at the University under a Federal Court order.   The last time that happened, President John F. Kennedy was forced to send in 500 Federal Marshals to ensure the... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Friday, June 12, 2015

It's the Inevitable

        by Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President   I, like many of you, have been fixated to the news reports of the unrest in Baltimore. However, for me, it is personal.   Having left the Maryland area just six months ago where we worshipped in west Baltimore, around the corner from the mall that was ransacked, I was watching my hometown be torn apart. And like many of you, I was horrified at the lawless actions of a few that did such... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Crafts of Freedom

  by  Scott Newstok     On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was summoned to the  Bishop Mason Temple  in Memphis to address the  striking sanitation workers  and their supporters. King wasn’t scheduled to speak at the rally, but Reverend Ralph Abernathy, sensing the crowd’s disappointment, had persuaded King to come from the Lorraine Hotel to make a few remarks. Poor pay, unjust working conditions, and two tragic... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Monday, April 6, 2015

We’re Number 2! (And that’s a VERY good thing!)

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC with museum colleagues from across the country. We descended on Capitol Hill to inform our senators and congressional representatives of the importance of the museum industry to tourism, economic development, education and general community vitality. It was a brisk two days in our Nation’s Capital, but as I spoke with our elected officials I carried with me a secret weapon.   It’s no surprise that... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Monday, March 16, 2015

Reclaiming Malcolm X

  By Ryan M. Jones, Museum Educator   April 21, 2015 – 50th Commemoration of Malcolm X     On the night of February 25, 1964, Cassius Clay became the heavyweight champion of the world after he defeated Sonny Liston in the seventh round. Stars from all over the world watched the fight in Miami including football star Jim Brown, and soul singer Sam Cooke. Thirty-eight year old Malcolm X also attended ringside. Malcolm had been in Miami... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Saturday, February 21, 2015

Who Mourns for Jimmie Lee Jackson?

  By Ryan M. Jones, Museum Educator       On a sunny March day in 2005, a retired Alabama state trooper quietly drinks his morning coffee outside on his deck in southern Alabama. He granted an interview to John Fleming of Anniston, Alabama. At age 72, James Bonard Fowler is asked about Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old activist who he claimed he shot in self-defense on February 18, 1965. “My life was in danger and he was trying to kill me. I’d done... Read More
Posted by Connie Dyson at Thursday, February 12, 2015