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Civil Rights Museum Planners Want Citizen Input

By Sandra Knispel | Published 05 Apr 2012 09:06am | comments
Planners for the Mississippi Museum of Civil Rights Are Asking for Citizen Input at a Public Meeting in Holly Springs on Wednesday.

If all goes to plan, Mississippi will have two new museums in Jackson to unveil for its bi-centennial celebrations in 2017. But first, planners want to hear what citizens think should be exhibited in one of them, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. To that end, project leaders are on the road, holding community meetings across the state. MPB’s Sandra Knispel went to one in Holly Springs yesterday…

“They want to know that the museum is not going to gloss over and make light of the civil rrights movement and try to make it appear more consensual than it actually was.”

As the interim project manager for the civil rights museum, it’s Angela Stewart’s job to listen to citizen input.

“They want to be sure that the conflict, the trauma the hurt, everything that was involved with the civil rights movement, is told in a truthful, honest manner.”

While ultimately more planners than interested citizens turned up to the meeting here, one audience member was very vocal about the inclusion of her early 20th century civil rights heroine in a most prominent spot:

“Considering the fact that we’re talking about Mississippi history, Ida B. Wells is the number one person that stands out, especially in Holly Springs and Mississippi.”

But then Leona Harris is also the curator of the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in Holly Springs. Meanwhile Rust College President, Dr. David Beckley, told the audience…

“For too long we’ve studied American history in the absence of African-American history. And I hope that this museum in Mississippi of all places can reverse that trend of thought.”

The Mississippi Department of Archives & History is now asking Mississippians to start scouring attics and basements for historic artifacts to contribute to the exhibits. 

Sandra Knispel, MPB News.

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Planners for the Mississippi Museum of Civil Rights Are Asking for Citizen Input at a Public Meeting in Holly Springs on Wednesday.


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