LILLIE CARROLL JACKSON CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM

Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum

Morgan State University has a jewel that I recently discovered, the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum. As always I am estaticed and immediately researched about this historic house museum. Dr. Shana Rochester, Education Coordinator of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum answered five questions about the museum.

 I am a recent new fan of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum and I cannot wait to visit. Can you share with our readers some interesting facts about the museum?

I’m so happy to hear that! The museum is a little known secret in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland and is located in the former home of Mrs. Jackson. Mrs. Jackson was the president of the Baltimore NAACP chapter for 35 years (1935-1970) and served as a mentor to several well-known civil rights leaders, such as Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The museum includes two period rooms and six gallery spaces that highlight the work of Mrs. Lillie Carroll Jackson, her family, and her allies.

What does the museum envision for a visitor to know about the museum when they leave?

We hope that visitors leave with an understanding that Maryland, but particularly Baltimore, was a central part of the Civil Rights Movement. The work of individuals like Mrs. Lillie Carroll Jackson, Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall was instrumental in passing prominent national legislation, such as the Brown v. Board. Many people associate the struggle to end racial segregation with the Deep South, however, there were several lesser-known cities, like Baltimore, that laid the groundwork and continued to fight for these notable victories.

Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum Staircase

Congratulations on the recent award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Can you share what exciting new things we will see in the future?

Thank you! We are in the process of developing a civil rights curriculum for middle and high school students in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore Heritage, and the Maryland Historical Society. We will be hosting teacher workshops and guided tours during the summer of 2020 and will begin implementing the curriculum in select schools during the 2020-2021 school year.

The museum is located on the campus of Morgan State University, a historically black university.  I was introduced to historic house museums during my matriculation at Bethune Cookman where I my passion was being nurtured. Does the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum have student workers that have an opportunity to learn about the museum field and the different career opportunities?

Absolutely! The museum is actually an off-site unit of Morgan State University. While we are located about 20 minutes from campus, we have hosted many undergraduate-, masters-, and doctoral-level interns from Morgan’s history department. Morgan also has a Museum Studies and Historical Preservation master’s program and we’ve hosted several of those students as well. Our student interns have become an invaluable addition to our staff and have gone on to pursue Ph.D. degrees, serve as faculty members, and work at the National Archives.  

What can someone do to help promote and support the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum?

Anyone interested in supporting the museum can visit our website (www.lilliecarrolljacksonmuseum.org). If you are local, you can plan to visit us on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays from 11-3pm. Finally, we are launching a docent training program and would love for you to participate! Please email us at lcjmuseum@morgan.edu for more information.   

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