Traveling museum exhibition will honor black men

Bayard Rustin, organized the 1963 March on Washington

One of the first stops is the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma, Washington


By Frederick H.Lowe


The Smithsonian Institution, the nation’s premier museum, will host a three-year, 10-city traveling exhibition at affiliate museums, honoring black men who changed the nation’s political, academic and cultural landscape.

Titled “Men of Change: Power, Triumph, Truth,” the exhibition will highlight revolutionary black men, including Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, W.E.B. Du Bois, co-founder of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization,  Kenrick Lamar, Carter G. Woodson,  Ryan Coogler, Bayard Rustin, co-organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, John H. Johnson, Charles Hamilton Houston, August Wilson and many more.

W.E.B. Du Bois, co-founder of the NAACP

Some very prominent people will appear throughout the entire exhibition.

“The advisory committee and exhibition team agreed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Malcolm X were a trinity that would run through the exhibition,” said Jennifer Schommer, assistant director of public affairs.

“All of the men have changed entire fields, fought for justice, and touched millions of lives directly and indirectly. These men serve as a metaphor, representing the many more men and the broader community that shaped them into important change agents,”  said Smithsonian officials.

John H. Johnson, founder of Ebony and Jet magazines

The exhibition opens August 17 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom  Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, before moving to the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma, Washington, December 21. The Smithsonian has not finalized the other museum locations. This exhibition follows “Freedom’s Sisters

The exhibition is sponsored by Ford Motor Co., which has a strong work history with black men.

In 1914, Ford paid black workers $5 per day,  the same as white workers, which was unheard of.

William Perry was the first known African American to work for Ford.  He started as a janitor at the Highland Park, Michigan, plant in 1914.



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