Joe Biden got honored alongside Reverend Jesse Jackson and the philanthropist Pitt Hyde with coveted Freedom Awards bestowed by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
The 27th annual Freedom Awards took place downtown in Memphis on Wednesday, honoring the individuals who made a global impact.
With his remarks at the event, Joe Biden told attendees that America needs their full “energy” and “leadership,” and a “battle for the soul of America” is raging.
“In the face of the hateful rhetoric and divisive legislation we cannot remain silent,” said the former vice president.
Joe Biden: “I’m here to tell you that once again we need your energy. Once again, we need your leadership. Once again, we need your renewed commitment to civil rights and civil justice.” https://t.co/p2nsEnDmse pic.twitter.com/oxWOvIt1rS
— The Hill (@thehill) October 18, 2018
The Museum President Terri Freeman told News 3 in Memphis, Tennessee that Biden was chosen as an honoree for his great work for human rights and LGBTQ issues.
Freeman said that Jesse Jackson, who is a civil rights leader and was a member of Martin Luther King Jr.’s trusted inner circle, was honored because the event’s theme was 1968 – the year King got assassinated.
Freeman said that she notices “many similarities” between the years 1968 and 2018, due to the current political climate and rampant conservative hatred towards non-whites, which has been heavily fueled and emboldened by President Donald Trump.
“We want to continue to help people understand the work is not over,” Freeman said.