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Two Floridians are working to preserve the legacy of the state's civil rights movement

A 3-D augmented reality museum exhibit featuring a virtual bronze statue of a woman.
Florida Civil Rights Museum
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Screenshot
The Florida Civil Rights Museum's first virtual exhibit "They Made a Difference"

A new Florida Civil Rights Museum makes national history as the first-ever virtual gallery of its kind.

The years-long efforts of two Tallahassee residents came to fruition this week as the first-ever, all-virtual Florida Civil Rights Museum had its official public launch.

The Florida Civil Rights Museum, founded by historian and activist Delaitre Hollinger in partnership with community activist and executive co-director Jacqueline Perkins, is the first of its kind in the nation aimed at highlighting the efforts of civil rights activism across the state.

Speaking to the Tallahassee Democrat, Perkins said the organization aims “to make sure that people know some of the salient accomplishments of individuals they've never heard of before,” echoing the museum’s dedication to uplifting the lesser-known voices throughout the history of Florida’s civil rights efforts.

Born out of Hollinger’s efforts in 2013 to preserve a civil-rights era jail in downtown Tallahassee, community and governmental support for the creation of a statewide civil rights museum gradually gained momentum until it was officially incorporated in May of 2021.

The museum’s first exhibition, titled “They Made a Difference,” showcases several of Florida’s civil rights pioneers across various industries and their work through historic photographic, artifact and biographical displays.

Digital visitors can explore the exhibit in a 3-D, augmented reality experience that allows them to navigate the virtual space and interact with different multimedia elements.

In addition to featured exhibits, the museum plans on hosting program series and events aimed at engaging the local community.

Additional plans for growth include establishing a physical space for additional in-person events and galleries.

You can find out more about the Florida Civil Rights Museum by visiting their official website here.

Tyler Luginski is the WUSF Stephen Noble Digital News intern for fall of 2023.