Magazine Memorial to Civil Rights
story and photos by kathryn schiliro
MCAAM to use copies of Ebony covers as centerpieces for Civil Rights Movement display
Oftentimes, publications of the day are the best preservers of history.
The Morgan County African American Museum is proof – the centerpiece of their new exhibit on the Civil Rights era centers around Ebony magazine covers.
The magazines were donated to Mamie Hillman, MCAAM administrator, who has chosen to use them throughout her three-part exhibit.
The first part of the exhibit is "The Heart and Soul of the Civil Rights Movement" and will credit those who drove the Civil Rights Movement, both on the nation's and world's stage and behind the scenes. It will pay homage to those to took it upon themselves to break down racial boundaries, even if it cost them their lives.
"They had to have heart; they had to have soul; they had to have strength," Hillman said.
The second part of her exhibit – "The Doors of Opportunity" – will display information connecting the Civil Rights Movement with opportunities that became available to African-Americans. Jesse Jackson's run for President, Barack Obama's ascent to the White House and Shirley Chisholm's rise to become the first African-American woman elected to Congress, for example.
Finally, the "Freedom is Not Free" wall will remind museum-goers of the casualties of the Civil Rights Movement.
Founded in 1945, Ebony magazine chronicles all of the Civil Rights Movement from the African-American perspective. And it's through the window of this publication that the museum will commemorate the Civil Rights Movement.
For the months of January and February, the Morgan County African American Museum will be open Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, noon to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The MCAAM will be open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 16, and will host a joint celebration with the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce at the museum – a brunch beginning at 10 a.m. The celebration will go on until 2 p.m.
"If it was not for what he [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] did, we would not have the opportunities that we do today," Hillman said. "We're unappreciative if we forget that."
Visit the museum
For the months of January and February, the Morgan County African American Museum will be open:
tuesday and thursday, noon to 2:30 p.m.
wednesday and friday, noon to 4 p.m.
saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The museum is hosting a joint celebration with the Chamber of Commerce on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the museum.
Top: Mamie Hillman, MCAAM administrator, discusses a cover with Malcolm X on it. Far right: Some of the Ebony covers in the exhibit. Right: Hillman found the sign that says “Colored Waiting Room” in an antique store.