Mississippi is rich in history and diverse in perspectives. The complex and interwoven tale of this one state is full of many stories and perspectives. Two museums have been unveiled that tell this story – a story of discovery and strife and hope and solidarity.
On December 9th of 2017, the first state-sponsored civil rights museum opened. Alongside it, an updated and renovated state history museum illustrates the broad and long story of The Magnolia State. They’re featured by the NY Times, The Guardian, and Independent UK, published on national and international travel websites, and they’re in the heart of Jackson: the Museum and Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
Physically adjoined and parallel in pursuit, the Museum of Mississippi History completes the other half of the symbiotic partnership in educating and documenting the history of Mississippi. You can walk through the glass doors and see both the famous and infamous events and details of our state. It isn’t all comfortable to hear or see, but the depth and intensity of the stories of our past are worth knowing.
Though the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is the first museum of its kind, it joins several similar to it throughout the country: the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee; the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama; and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama. (Source) With over $20 million in state funding and a $750,000 gift from Toyota to assist in the construction, the Civil Rights Museum will have upwards of 17,000 artifacts in its exhibits. The eight interactive galleries tell of the fight for equality that transformed both this state and the nation.
This past January 15th and 16th, both museums offered free entry, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. More events are coming this February; hours and admission, volunteer opportunities, and more regarding the museum can be found via their websites (Civil Rights) (MS History) and Facebook pages (Civil Rights) (MS History).
Have you been, or are you planning on going? Tell us how it went!