Michelle Obama’s Advocacy Work Recognized With 2021 Freedom Award

By: ShaCamree Gowdy 

Former first lady Michelle Obama is one of the recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum’s 2021 Freedom Award. 

The award “honors individuals who have made significant contributions in civil rights and who have laid the foundation for present and future leaders in the battle for human rights.” 

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Obama, a lawyer, writer and wife of former 44th President Barack Obama, is receiving the honor because of her role as “a global icon for women’s rights,” the museum said on their website. They praised the former first lady for her work as “an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls’ education.” 

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The ceremony will also feature a special tribute to Darnella Frazier, an 18-year-old whose eyewitness video of George Floyd’s murder, which she posted on Facebook in 2020, launched “global protests against injustice and brutality.” 

The event coincides with the museum’s 30th anniversary, per USA Today. The doors first opened to the public on September 28, 1991, with the Freedom Award being established the same year. It’s since been a major event of the museum built around the Lorraine Motel, which is the site where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.  

The Orpheum in downtown Memphis will host a livestream “virtual” awards presentation on October 14. The show will not be open to the public, but tickets to view it online will be available.

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