Newly renovated museum of Civil Rights reopens in Memphis

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by

I read in The New York Times about the recent renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. The museum, which is at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, commemorates the long pathway to Civil Rights for African Americans.

Among its many exhibits is one on Charles Hamilton Houston, a Civil Rights lawyer who we’ve written about on this blog. In order to mount his argument that separate education facilities were not equal in the Jim Crow South, Houston shot a good deal of 16mm footage of the conditions in the South during the 1930s, which is today stored in the National Archives in the Harmon Foundation Collection. Since Houston filmed several of the Rosenwald Schools, we plan to use some of this footage in our upcoming documentary on Julius Rosenwald’s life.

You can read more on the museum’s website. Prominently displayed there is a powerful quote by Houston:

“Maybe the next generation will be able to take time out to rest, but we have too far to go and too much work to do.”

Charles Hamilton Houston with Mary McLeod Bethune, from the outtakes of A Study in Educational Inequalities in South Carolina
Film still credit: National Archives, College Park, Harmon Foundation Collection, 200 HF 265×3

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