JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Any day can be a special day to visit the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, but on a holiday like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day the atmosphere is even better.
Getting a full grasp on what the museum was offering and the message visitors got from the exhibits.
From the day it was founded the goal of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum was to shed light on all of the racial injustice and segregation issues all African Americans faced throughout the state. Something that couldn’t be done without the help of Dr. King.
For some it was the first time while others were making their tenth visit walking through the history to how Mississippi healed its racism scars.
“In schools’ there isn’t too much on Black History,” Southern Miss. student Tijaha Richardson said. “So if you come here your eyes will be opened. You will not regret it.”
A special occasion for Martin Luther King day included a series of performances with music and poetry titled “I Question America” to honor black women icons in the civil rights era.
“Black women are the back bone of families, of history, of this country and everything,” I Question America Host Amanda Furdge stated. “So we really wanted to lift them up, a lot of times black women get left out for their contributions. So we just wanted to focus on that.”
Their message was mainly fed by local artists honoring Mississippi Civil Rights leaders who came before them.
“Some of those women include Myrlie Evers, of course Fannie Lou Hamer,” Furdge explained. “I believe she’s the one who coined the phrase ‘I Question America’.”
Leading up to this special performance people of all generations toured exhibits with stories inspiring, while others sad. But it’s something that needs to be taught.
“We need to teach our young people their history because they don’t know where they’re going to be going if they don’t know where they came from,” Glory Moses told us. “What the fight was done for and how hard the fight was and you’re going to have to fight for somethings and do it in a justice way.”
Free of charge all day, museum goers were educated on all stages of the civil rights battle from freedom of enslavement, to the case of Emmett Till, and desegregation leading to the right to vote.
“I didn’t know that 30 years later the people who actually killed Emmett Till actually confessed to it,” Devin Barber said. “And then the wife actually confessed in 2007 and nothing has been said or done about it.”
Monday alone almost 3,000 visitors walked through the doors of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Also on display was an exhibit about racial injustice at Parchman, relating to the same unrest arguments in Mississippi State Prisons we still see today.