The National Civil Rights Museum: Inside Look

Written by  //  April 1, 2013  //  Community  // 


By Courtney Ward


NCRM logoLocated in Memphis, TN, the National Civil Rights Museum has captured the historic essence of the civil rights movement. The museum’s historic significance and location is at the formerly known Lorraine Motel, the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. After King’s death and years later, the motel was transformed and dedicated as a museum on September 28, 1991.

Every year the museum, on April 4th, commemorates Dr. King’s assassination by presenting a litany or vigil. Never forgetting the heroism of Dr. King and the civil rights movement, the museum hosts different exhibits throughout the year to highlight individuals and events that created social and economic justice for the black community. Educating the history of civil rights beyond the month of February, the museum displays different scenes; such as the bus-seating boycott that Rosa Parks heralded — one of the beginning sparks of the civil rights movement.

Stated in its about section, “ … the Museum exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on the human rights movements worldwide, through its collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs. It chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits…” Understanding the vitality of the civil rights movement, the museum is dedicated to tell the stories that shaped and changed the positive progress of African-Americans.

Currently, the Freedom Sister’s exhibit graces the halls of the National Civil Rights Museum. The exhibit displays African-American women who have fought for equality throughout American history. An interview by MSNBC news anchor Melissa Harris-Perry, curator mentioned obvious presence of African-American men on the forefront for change; however the visibility of African-American women came being dominated by black men. The exhibit honors the heroic actions of black women. Some of the honorees include: Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Baker, Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, Myrlie Evers-Williams, and so many other dynamic women. The exhibit started in January and will be available throughout the year. The exhibit’s hands-on and interactive experience gives visitors the treasured story of each individual represented. For example, Ida B. Wells section displays her background and how she single handedly became a force to be reckoned with in the print media world; by documenting the lynching of African-Americans in the newspaper and speaking against the violent behavior.

The museum also hosts different series throughout the year. The Lunch & Learn series gives visitors a chance to bring their own lunch and learn the history of the civil rights movement. The program is hosted each month on the 3rd Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The museum is open for tours: Monday, Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesday and holidays. For admissions: Adult ($10.00), Seniors and Students with ID ($9.00), Children 4-17 ($8.00), 3 &under, Members, and Active Military with ID (Free). For Tennesseeians, free admission is offered on Mondays from 3:00 p.m. until closing. Group tours are also available.

National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry Street
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 521-9699



Courtney_Ward-NewCourtney D. Ward
“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” -Maya AngelouAs an up and coming journalist, Courtney D. Ward is determined to be an accomplished writer. A native of Atlanta, GA, Courtney attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in News Editorial. In 2009, she received the Journalist of the Year Award at the Bethune-Cookman University Massey Awards Ceremony. She is currently a Feature Writer for Esteem Magazine.Visit her in “Twitter-land” @ writedayz.

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