NCRM’s 28th Freedom Award honors civil, human rights activists

NCRM Freedom Award honors work for civil rights

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Three people who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights were honored in the Bluff City Wednesday night.

Recording artist John Legend, Nigerian human rights activist Hafsat Abiola and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem were the recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum’s 2019 Freedom Award.

2019 Freedom Award ceremony

At the Orpheum Theatre the trio expressed just what the honor meant to them.

"I’m here because this museum is honoring me with a freedom award, but I’m also here to learn and be inspired,” said Legend.

"I feel honored to be in a place where Dr. King had his last moment,” said Abiola, president and CEO of “Women in Africa.”

Steinem said this was the greatest award she has ever received.

"Because the civil rights movement inspired me. I also lived in India and was inspired by the Gandhi movement which Dr. King was too, but it was only then that I realized the movement was worldwide,” said Steinem.

2019 National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award

The ceremony also brought the past to the present.

Lil Buck danced to the hymn “Precious Love” and MLK Prep teens who made national headlines for bringing clothes and befriending a fellow bullied student were recognized.

This ceremony gave those who are doing the work a stage to be honored.

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