First look: New exhibits at National Civil Rights Museum
theGRIO SLIDESHOW - The leadership at the National Civil Rights Museum made a decision to give their exhibits a complete overhaul and introduce more technology and more information while doing it.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The leadership at the National Civil Rights Museum made a decision to give their exhibits a complete overhaul and introduce more technology and more information while doing it.
The museum, located at the historic Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, will celebrate its ‘grand re-opening’ on Saturday, April 5 where the public will be allowed to see the renovations for the first time.
The unveiling is part of a series of events NCRM is hosting to commemorate the 46th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Dr. Hasan Jeffries was a leading scholar who contributed research, planning and consultation for some five years
“[The museum] could have stayed ahead of the curve by simply modernizing the experience, adding more technology,” Jeffries said. “They certainly did that — but they went beyond that. They’ve set a new standard for the way in which the African-American experience, the African-American freedom struggle has to be looked at and treated in a museum space.”
TheGrio | National Civil Rights Museum completes $27.5 million overhaul (VIDEO)
Architects and design teams enhanced existing exhibits with more audio and visual components. New exhibits focus on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Black Power movement. Visitors will get plenty of Rosa Parks and King tributes – but will be introduced to the voices of the voiceless, Jeffries said.
He warns that the NCRM is not about making visitors feel comfortable about America’s past.
“Sometimes the Civil Rights Movement is presented as sort of Disney-narrative, just perpetual progress,” Jeffries said. “But inequality has been a fundamental part of the American experience from the very beginning. That’s why the museum doesn’t begin in 1954, but on the shores of Africa and the transatlantic slave trade. Certainly things have improved, but they’ve only improved as a result of struggle and in the face of relentless opposition.”
TheGrio.com has included ten images from the museum’s remodeled space, above.
NCRM is commemorating the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination with events, including a candlelight vigil on Friday and a ‘Community Day‘ on Saturday, April 5.
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