Former Vice President Joe Biden was honored alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson and philanthropist Pitt Hyde with Freedom Awards from the National Civil Rights Museum.
Every year, the National Civil Rights Museum honors distinguished individuals who have made had a global and national impact.
“It’s just amazing to me to join the ranks of so many heroes of mine like Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, you name it. I never dreamed I would be a recipient, so it’s a thrill being here,” Hyde said.
Hyde is the founder of Auto Zone and a philanthropist.
“This all started with trying to turn a tragic site into something positive for Memphis and for the country. And of course, it’s come so far in all those respects,” Hyde said.
Jackson, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, said he was humbled by the honor.
Terri Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum, said it was important to honor the three men.
“Reverend Jackson had not been honored as an icon and because the theme was 1968, we thought that was important. We identified Vice President Biden because of some of his human rights work and a lot of his work around LGBTQ,” Freeman said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden took to the podium with a call to action.:
“We need your energy. Once again, we need your leadership,” Biden said.
Freeman emphasized there was still much to do.
“We want to raise awareness of the fact that, first off there are many similarities, frankly, between 1968 and 2018. And so we wanna talk about the similarities there, but we wanna just continue to help people understand the work is not over and just because we celebrated, or commemorated, I should say, Dr. King’s 50th assassination date, it’s not over.”