a few weekends ago kaché and i traveled down to jackson, mississippi, to visit the mississippi civil rights museum. we would like to take our student leadership council to the museum this fall and wanted to see it for ourselves first so that we can be better stewards of their experience.
i had heard great things about the museum but did not really know what to expect from our visit, and i have to say i was pretty blown away. the museum is split into a number of different galleries off a central atrium, so you begin with an initial timeline of the mississippi slave trade and then can proceed through in whatever order you wish.
we went clockwise, learning about mississippi during reconstruction and how it was shaped by the end of slavery and the ensuing racial tension that rose as a result. we learned about mississippi citizens who stood up to injustices, institutes of higher learning that were founded to provide black people opportunities to better themselves, and protests to integrate beaches* and libraries and even the state fair.
the galleries are all very thorough, and i realized as we went through how little i knew of the civil rights movement in mississippi. there were so many names and events that i had never heard of, and it was very eye-opening to realize how far my ignorance stretched. like the proper history nerd that i am, i took plenty of notes so that i can be better prepared when we take our students in the fall.
we visited on the third saturday of the month, as the museum offers free admission, which meant that it was super crowded. we started fading after the third gallery from the sheer effort of wading through so many people, so we missed out on some of the videos and other interactive exhibits. i am hoping to get to those the next time around.
the mississippi civil rights museum is well worth a visit for anyone wishing to learn more about how the state was impacted by slavery and everything that has come after.
some things to keep in mind:
- the museum is open 9am-5pm tuesday through saturday / 1-5pm on sunday / closed on monday
- admission is $10 for adults
- the museum offers free admission on the third saturday of each month, which is awesome, but it does get crowded with church groups school field trips**
- the museum is in the same building as the museum of mississippi history; if you are interested in visiting both you can get a dual ticket for $15
- we were there for about two hours. we probably needed another hour to get the full experience, but we were hungry and tired and ready for a break
- the central atrium has lots of seats and benches if you need to rest your feet
*ok, but seriously, who thinks they own the ocean?
**we did also visit during black history month, which i imagine added to the crowd exponentially