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The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum brings visitors face to face with the horrors of racism

Located five miles from Evers’ home, the museum opens on 9 December alongside the new Museum of Mississippi History, with which it shares a lobby. The joint launch is no coincidence – the two museums’ overlapping topics of slavery, Civil War, Jim Crow segregation laws and the Delta blues provide a comprehensive and unflinching sweep of Mississippi’s history.

It’s not the first time the state has confronted its history of racism head on. From 2011, a series of “Freedom Trail” markers were placed at sites across Mississippi, including the Evers home. But the trail has been blighted by controversy - two markers associated with Emmett Till, whose lynching galvanised the civil rights movement, were vandalised, in an ugly reminder that racism is alive and well in the Southern state.

Those behind the new Jackson museum, which is the country’s first state-funded institution dedicated to civil rights, are determined this history should no longer be ignored.

“It’s a good thing for the state of Mississippi to show its darkness,” says museum director Pamela Junior, who was born and bred in Jackson and describes Mississippi as “ground zero” for civil rights. “If we can show, with authenticity and truthfulness, the history of the state, then we are making amends.”

Independent (UK)

Posted December 7, 2017 - 1:27 pm

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