In yesterday’s NYT, Edward Rothstein reviewed the newly opened International Civil Rights Center and Museum, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He finds the Museum, located in a former “F.W. Woolworth Co.” building, itself an artifact of both the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights Movement, to suffer some of the same faults as other institutions covering the topic (I personally begin to think of Cincinnati’s Freedom Center and Memphis’ National Civil Rights Museum). There is a tendency toward the ahistorical, and a subtle undermining of the story when drawing (rightfully so) the powerful local history into the broader international milieu.
From an individual perspective, located a museum focused on Civil Rights in a historic building linked to the history of the subject has great impact. In Memphis, visitors end on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, standing on the spot of MLK’s assassination. It has little rival for impact, but set a strong president for using relics of the Civil Rights movements to house museums about its history and legacy.
Read the full review from Rothstein here.
A few images from the related slide show follow.