Renovated National Civil Rights Museum Now Open

(Memphis) It’s taken several months; millions of dollars and a lot of plans, but the National Civil Rights Museum is now open to the public after a major renovation.

Saturday, hundreds gathered to celebrate not only the museum’s past, but also its impact on the future.

The crowd was big. But the message that brought them to the National Civil Rights Museum Saturday was even bigger.

“Freedom,” exclaimed Asja Coleman.

“What does freedom mean?” asked WREG’s Elise Preston.

“We can go places, without anybody telling us to leave. We can ride on the front of the bus now,” replied Coleman.

9-year-old, Asja Coleman never marched on Washington, or sat at a lunch a counter. But her presence in the crowd where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life is important.

“What this is about is not the exhilaration but the rededication to strength to resilience and to stick to it that we have to carry on in our struggle,” said National Civil Rights Museum founder and civil rights attorney D`Army Bailey. Bailey says the civil rights movement has come a long way, but there`s still more work to do.

“We need to roll up our shirts and tackle the real issues and chains; poverty, crime, the lack of quality education for our children,” said Bailey.

Saturday`s grand re-opening to the National Civil Rights Museum didn`t just celebrate the movement, martyrs and museum.

It`s also celebrating the idea that together, the community can crush things that keep us from being free.