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National Civil Rights Museum showcases Smithsonian outdoor exhibition on revolutionary Black men - FAD Magazine

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National Civil Rights Museum showcases Smithsonian outdoor exhibition on revolutionary Black men

LeBron James
LeBron James Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Walter Iooss, © Walter Iooss

The National Civil Rights Museum is proud to highlight the contributions of notable Black men with Men of Change: Taking it to the Streets. The outdoor exhibition from the Smithsonian will be on view in the museum’s Founders Park west of its main entrance starting Saturday, September 10th. 

Based on the SITES fine art exhibit Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., the outdoor exhibition is free and open to the public until December 16th, 2022. The “Taking it to the Streets” installation features multiple stand-alone and fence displays in the museum’s green space between Mulberry and South Main.

Bayard Rustin (on left), one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a key organizer of the March on Washington, with Cleveland Robinson Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, New York World -Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Men of Change: Taking it to the Streets presents the profiles of two dozen significant Black men across the decades. Through striking images and the poetic cadence of hip-hop language, visitors are invited to see these revolutionary men who have altered the history and culture of the country and learn from their journey. This outdoor installation highlights parallels between the past and present while telling stories of historical, cultural, political, and creative significance. 

From Duke Ellington and Muhammad Ali to Le Bron James and Alvin Ailey, the men of change are explored through the themes of storytellers, myth-breakers, fathering, community, imagining, catalysts, and loving. They transform professions, fight for justice, revolutionize art, and touch millions of lives. A diverse group of artists, advisors, academics, curators, and museum professionals determined the men chosen as Men of Change. The featured men represent many more individuals and the communities that shape them.

We are excited to host Men of Change: Taking It to the Streets,

As an outdoor installation, the exhibition offers an artistic interpretation of the history of Black men in the United States in the shadow of the Lorraine Motel.

said Dr. Noelle Trent, the museum’s Director of Interpretation, Collections and Education.
August Wilson Photo by David Cooper
August Wilson Photo by David Cooper

Men of Change: Taking it to the Streets SEPTEMBER 10th–DECEMBER 16th, 2022, IN FOUNDERS PARK, FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC civilrightsmuseum.org.

Moving beyond the boundaries of the museum’s walls, Men of Change: Taking it to the Streets offers a spot to meet, an opportunity for dialogue, and a connection to the community. The exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum. Supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company, it is touring through 2022.

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1619 to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 students annually. Serving as the new public square, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement, examine today’s global civil and human rights issues, provoke thoughtful debate, and serve as a catalyst for positive social change. A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum was recognized as TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today‘s Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC’s Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.

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