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Byron Rushing on Learning from Black Leaders of the Past

Museum of Afro-American History Director Byron Rushing sits in front of an old wooden carriage discussing his experiences with the Civil Rights Movement. “When I was involved in the Civil Rights movement, one of the things that I realized was that we were doing a number of things and thinking that we were doing them first. That we were the first people to say radical things, that we were the first people to say ‘Black is Beautiful,’ that we were the first people to say that black people should get together… We made a lot of mistakes because we didn’t know anything about the struggles of Nat Turner, because we didn’t know anything about the rhetoric of Walker…and if we had started there, if we had started with those past masters of Black history and studied their successes and their failures, we probably wouldn’t have had so many failures ourselves.”