Going to the attic in search of civil rights memorabilia - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: Alisa Nave, 7/12/04, 10:00pm

Going to the attic in search of civil rights memorabilia

By: Donna Davis

The National Civil Rights Museum is a fountain of history. You can find recreations of significant historical events like the lunch counter sit-ins of the sixties, or the bus boycotts used to fight segregation. Now the museum wants to know if you have something that they need. So curators put out a call for artifacts. An idea, sparked by the popular television show, Antiques Roadshow. "And it just got us to thinking about what's out there, and what we don't know, that we could use for educational programs, or for exhibits and other purposes like that," said Museum Curator Barbara Andrews. Museum officials are interested in items like this card which would have admitted the holder onto the platform at the 1963 March on Washington. Or this NAACP membership button from 1962. Or, "This was the placquard that would've been carried by sanitation workers, and the owner of this particular piece had the poster framed. But, I Am A Man, the strike that brought MLK to Memphis, Tennessee." We went antiquing with curators at a midtown store to see what we could find. While the museum does not need more of the same items, curators are hoping that perhaps you have other personal items like letters or diaries, that are connected to significant events, people, or places. "Maybe they were at resurrection city. Maybe they were at Fayetteville tent city. Perhaps a wagon wheel they rode on the mule train to D.C." In short, anything that helps tell the story of the struggle for civil and human rights around the world. "We want to be surprised by what might turn up." One thing the museum does not want, is newspapers. Since those are common, they are looking for that special, personal item. If you have something you might be willing to loan the museum you can reach them at 521-9699 extension 230.

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