MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM COMMUNITY MEETINGS
Community meetings for the MCRM were held this past winter and spring in Cleveland, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Holly Springs, Itta Bena, Jackson, McComb, and Philadelphia to gather suggestions for the museum and stories of local people involved in the civil rights movement. “African American culture is at the very center of American history and culture,” Dr. John Fleming, former executive director of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center and consultant for Hilferty & Associates, told the attendants at one meeting. “If we do this right it will tell the whole story, but we can only tell the whole story if you are willing to be an active participant in that process.”
Using input gathered from the community meetings, an advisory scholars group, and the MCRM Advisory Commission, Hilferty & Associates developed a schematic plan for the museum. The story of the African American Mississippian’s struggle for freedom and justice will be told through seven thematic galleries arranged around the This Little Light of Mine gallery placed at the center of the museum. Inspired by the gospel song of the same name, the vibrant core area with its sculpture of light is designed to be a place of light and hope.
The schematic design was also presented to the MCRM Advisory Commission and the scholars group for comments.