Exhibit honoring life of civil rights activist Floyd B. Mckissick Sr. on display at Durham Tech

A lifetime of service by one of Durham’s native sons, Floyd B. McKissick Sr., is being honored in an exhibit at Durham Technical Community College in the D. Thomas Jaynes Art Gallery on the College’s Main Campus on Lawson Street.

Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton had seen the original exhibit when it opened at the Museum of Durham History in November 2022. Some months later, while attending a house tour in East Durham, Buxton connected with Museum Board of Directors Chairman Bob Ashley and an idea was conceived. Since elements of “The Life and Legacy of Floyd B. McKissick, Sr.” exhibit were installed at North Carolina Central University’s Turner Law School and the Hayti Heritage Center, Buxton and Ashley agreed that it made perfect sense to bring the exhibit to Durham Tech. As Buxton said, “These three institutions are neighbors and share common aspirations for all community members.”

Museum of Durham History Executive Director Patrick Mucklow shared the enthusiasm and opportunity to collaborate. 

“This is a natural partnership for us and we are thrilled that the McKissick exhibit has another venue,” Mucklow said. An introduction was then made to the Museum’s Director of Education Programs and Exhibits, Michelle Needham, for her expertise in modifying the exhibit to fit Durham Tech’s space and purpose. 

Unveiled on Jan. 12 at Durham Tech’s 39th annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the exhibit represents the inspiring life and career of Floyd B. McKissick Sr., who worked alongside Dr. King in the civil rights movement.

Fittingly, the keynote speaker at the celebration was Floyd B. McKissick Jr., who delivered a master class on landmark dates in African-American history, the important legislation that emerged from those times, and why people are charged with continuing their journeys as agents of change.

The McKissick Exhibit will remain installed at Durham Tech until April and is open to the public. Durham Tech students, particularly, are invited to see and experience the exhibit and create a visual expression of their concept of legacy. Those works will be installed in the Jaynes Gallery, with the McKissick Exhibit, and featured at a special reception on Feb. 27. “As an educator, the components of pulling in student voices and participation makes this exhibit even more special,” Needham said

For questions or to arrange group tours at Durham Tech, please contact Director of Development Liz McFarlane at mcfarlanee@durhamtech.edu or 919-495-8257.