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Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum

The Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum is a historical museum located just south of downtown Albany, Georgia. Its mission is to commemorate the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in Albany and southwest Georgia. The museum also focuses on the music of the Movement, particularly the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers, who made their start in Albany. Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum is now housed in the newly restored Old Mt. Zion Church, which was built in 1906. This church, where Martin Luther King Jr. had rallied the masses of civil rights activists in 1961-62, was renovated using $750,000 that was raised by the city's and county's political leaders. It was then opened as a civil rights museum in 1998. The collection in the Movement Museum includes oral histories, photographs, documents and artifacts, and educational exhibits that detail the civil rights struggle ranging from voter registration to nonviolent protest, song, economic boycott, and legal action. Adding to the exhibit’s dimension are silhouettes of individuals from Albany, who were involved in this historical time. Among the most valued of photographs is the Danny Lyon collection, taken by Lyon - a northern white Civil Rights worker who was the first official photographer for the SNCC. In addition, there are monthly concerts by the Freedom Singers. The museum also serves as a center for ongoing academic research and provides school tours, programs, and lectures.