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. Aaron Shirley

Dr. Aaron Shirley

Growing up, Aaron Shirley recalled Mississippi’s African Americans having limited access to adequate hospitals and healthcare. After graduating from Meharry Medical College, Shirley returned home to accept a position as a resident of the University of Mississippi Medical Center—becoming the first African American to hold the position at the facility. Throughout his tenure, Shirley worked tirelessly as both a physician and civil rights activist to help improve healthcare for African Americans in the state. He cofounded the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Healthcare Center in 1970 and created a partnership with Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center to form the Jackson Medical Mall in the late 1990s.

Governor William F. Winter

Governor William F. Winter

 "Poorly educated people translate into poor people," said Governor William Winter, who led the effort to pass the landmark Education Reform Act in 1982. The act established a public kindergarten system for all Mississippi students, made school attendance compulsory, raised teacher salaries, and tightened teacher certification requirements. Winter held hearing around the state to build grassroots support. Opponents objected to new sales and income taxes used to fund the bill. The Legislative Black Caucus strongly supported the bill because poor schools disproportionately affected Black Mississippians.

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.

Ida B. Wells Museum

Ida B. Wells MuseumFeatures a collection of artifacts belonging to journalist, suffragist, and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells

220 North Randolph Street
Holly Springs, Mississippi 

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Mound Bayou, Mississippi

Mound BayouMound Bayou was founded by former slaves led by Isaiah Montgomery in 1887 as an independent African American community.

202 West Main Street
Mound Bayou, Mississippi

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