Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON (USA Today) — Small communities like Bogalusa, La., often are overlooked in histories of the civil rights movement, but a new museum on the National Mall aims to change that.

Charles Hicks said it “feels good” to know his native town’s civil rights contributions will be recognized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“While Bogalusa is singled out, it’s a symbol of the struggle that so many small Southern towns went through that people wouldn’t know about,” said Hicks, 68. “The stories and things that happened in Bogalusa probably happened at some point and some time in Sunflower, Miss., or some place in Alabama or Georgia or Kentucky that nobody would hear about.”

Hicks’ father, Robert Hicks, a legendary civil rights activist, died in 2010.

The family’s involvement in the civil rights movement will be part of an exhibit at the new museum, the first of its kind. It is scheduled to open in 2016.



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