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.

Julius Rosenwald - Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-26613

Julius Rosenwald

When the state refused to adequately fund Black education, the Julius Rosenwald Fund stepped in to offer grants for community-built schools for Black children. The fund stemmed from a collaboration between Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald. The fund provided a third of the cost to be matched by state and local sources. Parents donated labor and materials to build schools and helped with maintenance. After 1890, nearly all public funds spent on Black education in Mississippi were spent to match Rosenwald grants. When the Great Depression ended the program in the 1930s, Mississippi ranked second in the country with 632 Rosenwald schools. 

Hazel Brannon Smith - Wilson “Bill” Minor Papers, Manuscripts Division, Mississippi State University Libraries

Hazel Brannon Smith

Hazel Brannon Smith earned a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on race as editor/owner of the Lexington Advertiser. Smith wrote that all races "should have the same protection of the laws and courts." She condemned the Citizens’ Council "Gestapo" tactics. The Holmes County Citizens’ Council boycotted her paper and pressured the local hospital to fire her husband. In 1960, local teens burned a cross on her lawn. In 1961, she criticized the police attack on Tougaloo Nine supporters. She hosted Movement activists and printed their materials. In 1964, her Jackson newspaper office was bombed. Huge debts caused by the boycott forced her to declare bankruptcy. 

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.

Tougaloo College

Tougaloo CollegeBecame a primary center of activity of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

500 West County Line Road
Tougaloo, 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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