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.

Coach Babe McCarthy

Game of Change

In 1963, Mississippi State University defied segregationists by playing Loyola in the NCAA basketball tournament. Coach Babe McCarthy’s Bulldogs qualified by winning their fourth SEC title. In previous years—1959, 1961, and 1962—they had not competed because the tournament included integrated teams. MSU president Dean W. Calvard supported the team. MSU students burned an effigy of Governor Ross Barnett for his opposition. State Senator Billy Mitts got a court injunction to keep them from playing, but the team left the state for the tournament before it could be served. The state Supreme Court later threw out the injunction.

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.

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.

Corinth Contraband Camp

Corinth Contraband CampEstablished to accommodate enslaved people who fled to safety during the Civil War

800 North Parkway Street
Corinth, Mississippi 

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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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