Explore the Galleries

Explore the movement that changed the nation. Discover stories of Mississippians like Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Vernon Dahmer, as well as those who traveled many miles to stand beside them, come what may, in the name of equal rights for all.

Explore the Galleries at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Points of Light

The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi is full of ordinary men and women who refused to sit silently while their brothers and sisters were denied their basic freedoms. A number of these heroes are featured throughout the museum as Points of Light, shining exemplars of dignity, strength, and perseverance in the face of oppression.

Rims Barber - MDAH Rims Barber Manuscript Collection, Tougaloo College Civil Rights Collection

Rims Barber

A native of Chicago, Reverend Rims Barber began his journey in the Civil Rights Movement in 1964, when he joined the Freedom Summer effort in Mississippi. After Freedom Summer, Barber stayed in Mississippi working as a community organizer and activist in Canton. He worked for State Representative Robert Clark to “represent the unrepresented” and with the Children’s Defense Fund to desegregate public schools. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, he officiated the first interracial marriage in Mississippi since Reconstruction in 1970. He also officiated commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples before same-sex marriages were legal in Mississippi. 

Father Nathaniel - Photo courtesy Jackson Catholic Diocese

Father Nathaniel

In Greenwood, Father Nathaniel Machesky offered the facilities at St. Francis of Assisi Mission to distribute supplies to aid the poor. A native of Detroit, he came to the Delta in 1950 and established the mission to aid poor Black Mississippians. When local banks refused loans to Black people, Father Nathaniel established the St. Francis Federal Credit Union. Father Nathaniel supported the Greenwood Movement but tried to remain behind the scenes to protect the mission’s efforts to aid the poor. But when Northern friends began bringing supplies, Father Nathaniel made his facility available for food distribution. His activism would make him the target of night-rider attacks and death threats in the coming years. 

Explore Mississippi

Many of the homes, colleges, and historic sites discussed in this gallery still exist today. Journey beyond the museum walls and explore the places where history happened.

William Johnson House

William Johnson HouseExplores the lives of free African Americans in the pre-Civil War South

210 State Street
Natchez, Mississippi 

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Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO

COFO Trail MarkerA human and civil rights interdisciplinary education center at Jackson State University

1017 John R. Lynch Street
Jackson, Mississippi

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