National Civil Rights Museum presents Smithsonian outdoor exhibit on revolutionary black men

LeBron James Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Walter Iooss, © Walter Iooss

The National Civil Rights Museum is proud to highlight the contributions of notable black men with Men of Change: take to the streets. The Smithsonian’s outdoor exhibit will be on display in the museum’s Founders Park, west of its main entrance, beginning Saturday, September 10.

Based on the SITES art exhibition Men of change: power. Triumph. Trouth., the outdoor exhibit is free and open to the public until Dec. 16, 2022. The “Taking it to the Streets” installation features several freestanding and fenced exhibits in the museum’s green space between Mulberry and South Hand.

Bayard Rustin (left), one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and one of the main organizers of the March on Washington, with the Cleveland Robinson Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, New York World -Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Men of Change: take to the streets features profiles of two dozen prominent black men over the decades. Through striking images and the poetic cadence of hip-hop language, visitors are invited to see these revolutionary men who changed the country’s history and culture and learn from their journey. This outdoor installation highlights the parallels between past and present while telling stories of historical, cultural, political and creative significance.

From Duke Ellington and Muhammad Ali to Le Bron James and Alvin Ailey, Men of Change are explored through the themes of storytellers, myth busters, fatherhood, community, imagination, catalysts, and leadership. ‘love. They are transforming professions, fighting for justice, revolutionizing art and touching millions of lives. A diverse group of artists, advisers, scholars, curators and museum professionals determined the men chosen as men of change. The men featured represent many more individuals and the communities that shape them.

We are delighted to welcome Men of Change: take to the streets,

In the form of an outdoor installation, the exhibition offers an artistic interpretation of the history of black men in the United States in the shadow of the Lorraine Motel.

said Dr. Noelle Trent, the museum’s director of interpretation, collections and education.

August Wilson photo by David Cooper
August WilsonPhoto by David Cooper


Going beyond the limits of the museum walls, Men of Change: take to the streets offers a meeting place, an opportunity for dialogue and a link with the community. The exhibit was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service (SITES) and Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum. Supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, he is on tour until 2022.

The NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CIVIL RIGHTS, located in the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, provides a comprehensive overview of the American civil rights movement from 1619 to the present day. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from all over the world have come, including more than 90,000 students each year. Serving as a new public square, the museum is unwavering in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement, examine current global civil and human rights issues, provoke thoughtful debate, and serve as a catalyst for positive social change. . Affiliated with the Smithsonian and an internationally renowned cultural institution, the museum has been recognized as America’s Best Museum by 5% by TripAdvisor travelers, USA todayTop 10 of the best iconic American attractions; Top 10 Best Historic Sites in the United States by TLC family trip; To see before the age of 15 by Budget travel and children; Top 10, US Treasures by USA today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The commercial appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.


Key words

  • The National Civil Rights Museum
  • the smithsonian


Marc Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, founder and co-editor of Art of Conversation and founder of the @worldoffad platform

The Smithsonian Institute is partnering with the Victoria and Albert Museum to become part of the £850 million ($1.1 billion) arts hub of Olympiacopolis. The plan is to loan Smithsonian artifacts to the Museum of London for a co-branded and co-curated gallery at the V&A East, and for the institute to also curate temporary exhibitions for the space.

Smithsonian launches Kickstarter for culture-defining 'hip-hop and rap anthology'

A unique collaboration between the hip-hop community, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Jeffrey Gibson’s paintings and sculptures are inspired by the traditional crafts and modern arts of Native American cultures. His sense of pride and desire to claim ownership of these stories contradicts the potentially negative connotations of craftsmanship that have been placed on Native American art, situating his work in the pantheon of abstract modernism.

Comments are closed.