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.

Richard Wright - Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USW3-030283-D

Richard Wright

Richard Wright spent a lifetime writing against racism. The son of a Natchez sharecropper and a high school teacher, Wright grew up in Adams County and Jackson, before moving to Chicago in the 1920s. In Uncle Tom’s Children (1938) and Native Son (1940), he gave voice to the experience of American racism. In Black Boy (1945), he wrote about his personal encounters with racism. Wright joined the Communist Party in Chicago, but, finding no answers, discontinued his associated after 10 years. In 1958, his last novel—The Long Dream—returned to the theme of racism. 

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.

The Piney Woods School

The Piney Woods SchoolFounded by Laurence C. Jones in 1909, it is the largest, independent African American boarding school in the United States.

5096 US Highway 49
Piney Woods, Mississippi

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Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University

Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State UniversityHonors its namesake’s legacy through artifacts, exhibits, and public programs

1400 John R. Lynch Street
Jackson, Mississippi

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