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Baltimore’s newest museum hopes to pass on traditions of Civil Rights movement

<i></i><br/>Baltimore's newest museum
Lawrence, Nakia

Baltimore's newest museum

By Breana Ross

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    BALTIMORE, Maryland (WBAL) — When we think of the Civil Rights Movement, many think of landmarks in Atlanta and across the south. But a little rowhome on Eutaw Place in Baltimore played a big role in Civil Rights history.

Lillie Carroll Jackson was born in Baltimore in 1889 into a segregated society. She became the president of the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1935 and grew the membership from less than 200 to more than 25,000 by 1946.

“I think the important thing is to realize (is) Baltimore’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement,” said Iris Leigh Barnes, the associate director and curator of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum. “It started long before the typical stories we hear about with Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, and they, in fact, would visit Mrs. Jackson here in this parlor.”

Jackson bought her home on Eutaw Place in 1953 and used it as a hub for Civil Rights organizing.

“A lot of conversations took place here with Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Mitchell, Martin Luther King in the 1950s to talk about all of those issues that we were building up to in the 60s,” said Barnes.

Those conversations that started within the walls of Jackson’s home led to change. In the 35 years that Jackson served as president, the NAACP Baltimore branch made major strides.

“From all aspects of life, from housing to education, schools, salaries, getting Black police officers, they tackled every aspect of life — and not just to change Baltimore, but Maryland, and, really, a lot of the issues that were tackled here impacted the nation,” said Barnes.

But Barnes said not enough people know this or Jackson’s story.

“She was a woman. This is the 1930s, women weren’t always on the forefront and weren’t always getting the credit, so we are going to give her all the credit that’s due,” said Barnes.

What was once Jackson’s home is now a museum that tells her story and the story of the Civil Rights Movement in Baltimore. It’s filled with artifacts, a documentary, interactive kiosks and six galleries, all to educate people on a piece of Civil Rights history in Baltimore.

Admission to the museum is free, and it’s open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1320 Eutaw Place in Baltimore.

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