The Life and Legacy of Floyd B. McKissick Sr. Exhibit Opening at MoDH

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The Museum of Durham History is excited to announce an opening event dedicated to their latest exhibit, The Life and Legacy of Floyd B. McKissick Sr.  To celebrate this landmark exhibit, they are inviting the public to 500 W. Main Street on Friday, November 18th at 5:30PM for a complimentary event to honor the centenary of McKissick Sr.’s birth. Remarks will be made at the beginning of the event.

Refreshments will be provided by local restaurants, and the evening will feature live music, a few surprise guests, and an opportunity to get the first peek of this new branch of the exhibit.  There will also be a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the exhibit presented by its curator, Michelle Needham, the Museum’s Director of Education Programs and Exhibits.  Speakers will include two of McKissick Sr.’s children, Floyd B. McKissick Jr. and Dr. Charmaine McKissick-Melton.

This is a unique offering for the Museum as it will be the first time presenting an exhibit in partnership with two other local organizations at their venues– North Carolina Central University and the Hayti Heritage Center– which both feature their own distinct branches of the exhibit with related themes.  The exhibit also provides a very intimate, personal look into the life and upbringing of McKissick Sr. thanks to special access to McKissick family archives, provided by Dr. Charmaine McKissick-Melton.

The content presented at the Museum looks more closely at McKissick Sr.’s childhood and family, his many accomplishments both locally and nationally, and the story and controversy surrounding Soul City.  For younger visitors, the L is for Legacy kids exhibit shares what life was like growing up as a McKissick and what it means to have a community legacy.

“After experiencing this Museum exhibition, I hope that more people realize that a national leader called Durham home. McKissick Sr.’s contributions were as important and significant as those of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in the 1960s. His impact was just as far-reaching as theirs. Our intention for this exhibit is to reintroduce him to his community,” Needham said of McKissick Sr.’s connection to Durham.

To add to this special connection, the Museum would like to hear from community members about their memories, perspectives, and experiences related to the story of Floyd B. McKissick Sr. and the themes of each location.  Visitors are welcome to stop by the Museum at 500 W. Main Street in Durham to visit the Story Room and share their stories, and may also submit these online via the Story Portal on the Museum’s website.  All stories will be featured as part of the Museum’s digital exhibit, along with a gallery of photos, images, and never-before-shared historical anecdotes.

The Life and Legacy of Floyd B. McKissick Sr. is sponsored by Fidelity Investments with support from Duke Health and presented in partnership with North Carolina Central University and the Hayti Heritage Center. The exhibit is curated by the Museum’s Director of Educational Programs and Exhibits, Michelle Needham and Community Curator, Sharon Barry.

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