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Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum Home Page Feature

USA Today Ranks Morgan’s Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum Among the Top Ten Best Free Museums to Visit in America

by Morgan State U
March 22, 2024

Museum Honoring the Life and Legacy of Baltimore Civil Rights Activist Voted 4th Nationwide By Expert Panel and Readers

Baltimore — Morgan State University’s Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, one of the two museums owned and operated by the university, has been voted fourth in the 2024 USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice for the top free museums nationwide. Selected by an expert panel for consideration, readers then voted for the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum to be included in the ‘top 10’ among the nation’s most captivating, enriching, and enlightening museums with free admission.

Serving at one time as the home of Lillie Carroll Jackson, a prominent figure in Maryland’s civil rights movement, the museum features multiple galleries dedicated to exploring matters of racial inequality and honoring the freedom fighters and change-makers like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Juanita Jackson, and others. It also houses hundreds of historic and personal artifacts from Jackson’s life. For 35 years, she led the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with her house becoming a frequent gathering spot for coordinating civil rights initiatives.

Iris Barnes“The Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum is truly remarkable in several ways. Firstly, the house, a meticulously restored 3-story 19th-century row home, stands as its primary artifact, showcasing incredible craftsmanship,” said Iris Barnes, Ph.D., associated director and curator of Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum. “Secondly, the thoughtful interpretation and modernization efforts have successfully preserved the essence of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, what truly sets this museum apart are the inspiring stories it houses, which highlight the indomitable power of the human spirit. These narratives recount communities uniting under the leadership of Lillie Carroll Jackson, whose pivotal role in leading the Baltimore NAACP not only left a lasting impact on the city but also catalyzed change on a national scale.”

Before her death in 1975, she left a will stating that her home should be turned into a civil rights museum to keep the memory of the fight for civil rights alive. In 1978, the Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum was opened to the public, making it the first museum in Baltimore privately owned and named in honor of an African American woman. The property was transferred to Morgan in June 1996 to continue its mission. It underwent a significant renovation and reopened its doors in June 2016.

piano in the jackson museumDr. Barnes emphasized, “Many of the freedoms we cherish today owe their existence to Baltimore's pioneering spirit. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone, especially youth, to experience this small yet impactful museum firsthand. It will inspire you to consider the changes you can make within your world."

The museum was nominated by an expert panel comprising USA TODAY editors, 10Best.com editors, relevant experts, and other media sources. The final ranking was determined through public voting on the nomination. The top ten winners in this category are as follows:

  1. USA Today Readers' Choice badgeNational Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
  2. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  3. Saint Louis Science Center
  4. Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum
  5. Baltimore Museum of Art
  6. Wagner Free Institute of Science
  7. The Blue Ridge Music Center
  8. National Museum of American History
  9. National Museum of African American History
  10. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Morgan State is the only institution of higher education in the region with its own Civil Rights museum and a museum honoring an African American Woman. In addition to owning and operating the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, Morgan also operates the James E. Lewis Museum of Art and Culture. Located at 1320 Eutaw Place, Baltimore, Maryland, public admission to the Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum is free. Tours are conducted by appointment only by calling (443) 885-5300.

 

About Morgan

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 150 certificate and academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.

 

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Media Contacts:
Cheryl Stewart or Larry Jones, for Morgan State University PR
443-885-3022