The Tennessee State Museum has received a national Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State & Local History for the exhibition We Shall Not Be Moved: The 50th Anniversary of Tennessee’s Civil Rights Sit-ins.
The downtown Nashville-based museum was the only Tennessee institution to receive the honor, which was announced at AASLH’s national meeting in Richmond, Va., earlier this month.
AASLH gives Leadership in History Awards to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The Tennessee State Museum curatorial and public programs staff developed and produced the Civil Rights exhibition for the 50th anniversary of Tennessee’s sit-ins. The exhibit was on view at the museum from February to May 2010 and is now traveling to other venues throughout the state.
The exhibition provides an intimate look at the role Tennessee students played in shaping the modern Civil Rights Movement. While the history of the civil rights movement rightfully focuses on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the stories of its unsung heroes have remained largely untold, museum officials said in a release.
“Our museum is exceptionally honored to receive this prestigious award from an organization with such integrity as AASLH,” museum Executive Director Lois Riggins-Ezzell said in the release. “We always strive for excellence in creating our educational programs and exhibitions. With the Volunteer State’s rich history, we are proud to have created something which preserves Tennessee’s civil rights legacy for future generations.”