Visit this Baltimore museum that honors the “mother of the civil rights movement”

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  • Published on March 23, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In History

The Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum in Baltimore, Maryland celebrates and highlights the Baltimore educator’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

Women were a fighting force behind the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, those on the front line are often excluded from the history books, causing their efforts to be overlooked or forgotten.

Throughout the years, we have been taught about the usual fixtures in the civil rights movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Our education about women in the movement sometimes stops with mentions of Rosa Parks – but there were many more.

Lillie Carroll Jackson was known as the “mother of the civil rights movement.” Her contributions to the movement in her native city of Baltimore and beyond have been captured in her home, which is now the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum.

While serving as a professor at Baltimore City College, Jackson became the executive secretary of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP. Her main focus was education and desegregation. She dedicated her life to gaining equal access and treatment for Black people in public schools, restaurants and other businesses. Her fight for justice and equality was usually met at the price of her and her family’s safety.

According to Travel Noir, in 1948, Jackson was behind the plan to desegregate Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Maryland. The outlet also reports the educator was instrumental in the desegregation of the University of Maryland School of Law in 1951.

Jackson was also a strong advocate for women’s rights. Before passing in 1975, she was a founding member of the Women’s Democratic League in Baltimore. Her contributions included ensuring Black women were given the equal right to vote.

In 1978, Jackson’s daughter, Virginia Kiah, turned her mother’s home into a museum to showcase her contributions to the movement. The museum is Baltimore’s first privately-owned museum to honor a Black woman. Because of its significance to the history of Baltimore, the museum is included in Morgan State University’s office of museums.

“The HBCU completed the renovation of Jackson’s home in 2012, and restored the property’s architecture to give the museum a modern flair,” reports Travel Noire.

The museum is a time capsule with images of Jackson and her family. Some portraits depict the trailblazing moments in the activist’s life.

Admission to the museum for self-guided tours is free, but guided tours that detail Jackson and her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement are available at a price. Virtual tours are also available for those who can’t visit in person.