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State Museum Seeks Civil Rights Artifacts, Stories

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RALEIGH — The North Carolina Museum of History needs your help to develop a unique exhibit.The museum wants to open a Civil Rights Exhibit in 2004 and is asking the public for items from that time period.

Shawn Saunders, a curator at the museum, wants to tell the story behind the Civil Rights movement through the voices of North Carolinians.

She says almost everyone who lived in North Carolina during those years can contribute something to the cause.

"What we're asking the public is that they participate in donating, selling or loaning their personal civil rights memorabilia, artifacts or journals," says Saunders.

From sit-in's in Greensboro to starting the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Raleigh, North Carolina played a big role in the movement. Several civil rights leaders grew up or went to school in the area.

The exhibit begins with the year 1945 and ends in 1975.

"It allows us to tell the story of what happened after many of the laws of segregation collapsed," says Saunders. "Many of the black servicemen came home from serving their country and began demanding that since they were allowed to die in support of this country, they should also have the same rights as white citizens of this country had."

Artifacts are important, but what is more valuable to historians are the stories of that time period.

"There are a lot of people who are very interested in telling their side of the story and making sure that this history does not get lost," she says.

Native Americans will also represent a large part of the exhibit. If you are willing to share your artifact or story, call Shawn Saunders at






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