Legislators meet to decide fate of Civil Rights Museum

State legislators will meet to decide the future of the Civil Rights Museum. The Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation wants to buy the state owned property for $1.00.

The lease on the museum expired in March. That opened the door for it to lose state ownership and be turned into a private facility.

But not if the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators can stop that.

The National Civil Rights Museum is the place where civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated.

And tonight, the public will have a chance to make its voice heard as to whether or not the museum should stay public or go to private investors.

The Caucus says Monday night's meeting has great baring on the museum.  Those who oppose private ownership argue it could lose King's message with a corporate run board.

With founding members and union representative recently removed from the museum board, they say public ownership is the only way to ensure diversity.

"We just want to make sure that it's not private so that it can be assessable to the community, to our citizens who come as a tourist site. It's an international tourist site," says State Representative Barbara Cooper.

But under public ownership, the board has had concerns about the aging building and the need to upgrade its technology.

Cooper says that could all be worked out. The Caucus is holding the meeting at 6:00 Monday night.

It's at the AFSCME Union Building on Beale at Danny Thomas Boulevard and is open to the public.

Stay with Actio News 5 for updates on this developing story.


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