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Three Sites Lead Choices for Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 31 Jan 2011 02:54pm | comments
Advocates for each site make their case in Jackson

Several locations are being considered for building a Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the Legislative Black Caucus narrowed the list to three.

The discussion of if and where to build a Mississippi Civil Rights Museum restarted earlier this year when Governor Haley Barbour renewed his call for a museum during his state of the state speech.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus met on Monday to hear arguments about where the museum should be.

When the issue was first raised in 2007, a committee choose Tougaloo College as the site and Tougaloo President Beverly Hogan says that is where it should be built.

"Ideally it should be located at Tougaloo College because we feel it is the refuge, the cradle of the Civil Rights movement and it brings that kind of authenticity to a Civil Rights museum," Hogan said.

Greenwood Mississippi is the second site being considered. LeFlore County Supervisor Robert Moore says the museum should be there because of Greenwood's central role in the civil rights movement.

"Civil Rights organizations, and especially SNCC that had its regional headquarters in Greenwood. Because Greenwood and LeFlore County is and was at the time ground zero for the Civil Rights movement," Moore said.

The third site is in downtown Jackson near the Museum of Archives and History. The Governor recommended this as a possible site.

Senator John Horhn, who represented Jackson at the meeting, says the downtown site works because of the supporting industries around it.

"You have to have critical mass. You have to have hotels. You have to have places for people to shop. You have to have places for people to enjoy conventions and meetings. You have to be able to provide entertainment," Horhn said.

The group did not make a decision on where to place the museum but that is only the first problem. The legislature would also have to approve 50-to-80 million dollars in state bonds in order to build the museum.

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Advocates for each site make their case in Jackson


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