white noise

by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble


The opening of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Monday is a story about current racial politics, great acts of yesteryear and economic development. Almost lost in the shuffle is the museum itself, and how it tells the story of a seminal period in American history. The curatorial quality of the museum will almost certainly make a difference in whether the nation notices this museum and comes to see what’s in it. The Monday New York Times gives it a somewhat critical review (too harsh, in my opinion). “There is an ahistorical tendency here, in which particular detail is put aside for broad impact,” writes Edward Rothstein. “To a certain extent this must be done in any commemoration, particularly one as fraught with passion and urgency as this. But more attention to the nuances of the movement wouldn’t have hurt the museum’s cause; it would have strengthened it.” Rothstein’s review misses some of the detail itself. He writes that “visitors sit at the long counter.” In fact, the counter area is chained off. — JG