The sculptures blocked my path and rooted me to the spot. Etched with the name and alleged crime of each known lynching victim in Mississippi, these tall monoliths pierced the galleries like stab wounds.
Visiting the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is intense, shaming and shocking – just like the subject it covers – and it tackles its topic with unflinching, unapologetic rigour.
The first state-sponsored museum dedicated to the movement, it opens at 222 North Street, Jackson, on 9 December alongside the Museum of Mississippi History. The joint launch and shared entrance is no coincidence.
“We walk in together, and we see all of our history together,” says marketing director Stephenie Morrisey.
Topics overlap: slavery, the civil war, Jim Crow laws, the Delta blues. The result is a sweeping view of Mississippi’s history that puts the civil rights movement into context.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE | WASHINGTON, DC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).