Both museums will provide civic spaces for public discourse, lectures, debates and special events. Two of Mississippi’s most famous writers have written eloquent testaments to the need for history museums.
William Faulkner famously observed, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” More recently, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey said when asked why she explores history through her poems, “I’m trying to make sense of my own contemporary experience across time and space. To make sense of myself through the lens of history. These things are not new to us; they’ve been going on for a long time, and people have been thinking about them for a long time, and my experience now is reflected through that larger public history.”
This “larger public history” will be the focus when the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum open their doors in the fall of 2017 — the bicentennial year of our state. Ours is not just a Mississippi story, it is an American story.
Clarion Ledger Op-Ed