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.

Dr. John A. Peoples Jr. - MDAH Photographs Collection

Dr. John A. Peoples Jr.

After earning his doctorate of philosophy, John Arthur Peoples Jr. became the sixth president of Jackson State University in 1967. During his 17-year tenure as president, the university saw increased growth in enrollment, programs, and infrastructure. In 1970, Peoples witnessed the police shootings that took place on the university’s campus. Peoples recalled, “I walked into the [dorm] and there was blood running down the stairways and the smell of gunpowder in the air.” Even after this violent attack, Peoples was able to maintain the positive reputation of the school and uplift student morale. In 1993, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

James D. Lynch

Reverend James D. Lynch

A native of Baltimore, Rev. James D. Lynch served as a missionary for the A.M.E. Church in South Carolina and Georgia during the war, helping to establish Black schools and churches. In 1868, he brought his missionary work to Mississippi, but soon realized that political rights were also critical to Black freedmen. Lynch became one of the founders of Mississippi’s Republican Party and served as its first vice president. In 1869, he won election as Mississippi Secretary of State, the first African American to hold that office. After leaving office in 1870, Lynch helped to establish Shaw University, now Rust College, in Holly Springs.

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.

Forks of the Road Slave Market

The Forks of the Road Slave Market at NatchezLocation of the second-largest slave market in the Deep South

232 St. Catherine Street
Natchez, Mississippi

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Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market

Bryan Grocery and Meat MarketLocation where in 1955, Emmett Till allegedly whistled at a white shopkeeper

County Road 518 at County Road 24
Money, Mississippi 

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