Finally, a museum dedicated to the history of the civil and human rights movement has opened in Atlanta, Georgia’s downtown. The 42,000 plus square foot facility opened to the public Monday.
Reportedly the museum is officially called the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Philip Freelon, who is a notable architect, was the architect for the project and had several designs in mind for the building.
“The vision and mission of the institutions are different. What’s similar are those words, civil rights — segregation, violence, reconciliation, resilience, jubilation,” Freelon said.
The museum is not only dedicated to the civil rights movement, but also incorporates some modern controversial issues. It spotlights women’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, disabilities, immigration and transgender. It is said to link the historical civil rights battle with the many battles of today.
The museum is broken up into sections of course. The entrance spotlights the Jim Crow era and was created by George C. Wolfe, a notable Broadway director. Following the Jim Crow section is the ‘Brown Vs. the Board of Education’ and then the ‘March on Washington’.
The centers CEO, Doug Shipman said, “We’ve really brought the storytelling to a whole new generation.”
An exhibit of the Freedom Riders is also displayed in the museum. The mugshots of each one covers a bus-like wall inside the exhibition. One of the Freedom Riders from the early 60s, Glenda Gaither-Davis is currently a Atlanta resident. Her mugshot from her arrest in Jackson, Mississippi during the fight for civil rights is of course one of the many on display.
“It’s long overdue. We need to be more cognizant of making sure younger generations understand history,” said Gaither-Davis, who is 72 years old.
National Civil Rights Museum Now Open in Downtown Atlanta