COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – Ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s National Day, a new exhibit illustrating the civil rights movement has opened in Fountain City.
The Columbus Museum held a grand opening for the exhibit on Saturday morning.
The artifacts hanging on the wall tell the story of a fight for justice. The culminating stories of several generations brought together in this new exhibit, Journey Toward Justice: The Civil Rights Movement in the Chattahoochee Valley.
“The journey to justice has been a labor of love,” said Advisory Board Member Rasheeda Ali.
Columbus Museum history curator Rebecca Bush said efforts to secure the exhibit were the result of protests by George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as well as the death of former U.S. Representative John Lewis.
“Really emphasized to me that we need to talk to these people. We need to capture the stories of these people,” she explained.
Bush says these people were members of the community assembled in an advisory council.
The journey begins during a period of segregation in Columbus. It is a time that Rasheeda Ali, a member of the Advisory Council, says he remembers.
“Coming to a time of segregation was quite difficult, although we only felt it after desegregation. Everything was black for us – we had or owned a community theater, which was the Liberty Theatre. We had the downtown area.
It continues to acknowledge aspects of the civil rights movement, including Jim Crow laws, the roles of black institutions into the 21st century – highlighting protests for justice and key activists like Leah and Darius Prather.
“For us, it’s so much more than just being home and being outraged by a lot of things,” Leah Prather said. “And we did a lot of other provoked protests that are important to us. We did women’s marches together. We did gun violence right here in our community.
The exhibition will last nine months.
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