MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - National Civil Rights Museum announced the 2018 recipients of the coveted Freedom Award on Wednesday.
NCRM leaders identified former Vice President Joe Biden, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and J.R. Pitt Hyde as the 2018 Freedom Award recipients.
Biden was selected because of his tireless work on criminal justice reform and his impact on U.S. foreign policy. Jackson is being honored as one of the foremost civil rights, religious, and political leaders of his time. Hyde, a native Memphian and the founder of AutoZone, will receive the award because of his dedicated philanthropic work.
This year's ceremony looks back 50 years and honors 1968. In addition to being themed around that pivotal year, the Freedom Award ceremony will feature a special tribute to Aretha Franklin, who released her album Lady Soul that year.
NCRM President Terri Freeman said the theme was chosen because the year was a time of "tumultuous chaos and paradigm shifts on what it meant to be free."
"We thought 1968 was appropriate given we had two assassinations that year, but there were also a series of things that appeared in the world stage and the nation's stage that we thought was important," Freeman said.
This year's ceremony will take place Wednesday, October 17 at the Orpheum Theatre.