Monday, February 1, 2010

NY Times reviews new museum

The New York Times has a positive review of the new International Civil Rights Center and Museum of the achievements of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which is opening Monday in that former Woolworth building, is that you begin to understand how such a place became a pivot in the greatest political movement of the 20th century.

In the museum’s 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, the mundane luncheonette reminds us that a cataclysmic social transformation took place over the right to be ordinary. For that was what was at stake — not subtle and arcane matters of law or obscure practices that challenged eccentric codes of behavior, but the basic acts of daily life: eating, drinking, sleeping, working, playing. It was here, at this luncheonette counter, that four 17-year-old freshmen at the all-black Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina — Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain, David L. Richmond and Ezell A. Blair Jr. — arrived on Feb. 1, 1960, sat down and ordered some food.
How refreshing to read an article that doesn't describe one or the other of our local politicians as venial clowns.