In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, admission to the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is free for all today.
With support from FedEx, the museums will be offering free admission from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We are grateful to FedEx Corporation for their continued support of our annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration,” Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, said. “Their generosity allows us to invite the public to safely celebrate Dr. King’s life at the museums and through virtual programming.”
At 6 p.m. this evening, the annual MLK Night of Culture program will livestream on the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Facebook page. Writer and poet C. Leigh McInnis will headline the event, which includes live painting, music, and spoken word performances by local artists. This year’s theme is “I Am a Man,” a declaration of the 1968 Memphis sanitation strikers. King joined activists Rev. James Lawson, T.O. Jones, and others in support of the sanitation strike.
At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, the New Stage Theatre production The Debate for Democracy, a conversation between Martin Luther King Jr. organizer Ella Baker, and activist Fannie Lou Hamer, will livestream on the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Facebook page.
A new special exhibition, I AM A MAN: Civil Rights Photographs in the American South, 1960–1970, will open at the museums Saturday, January 30, 2021. It will feature a wide range of photographs capturing key events of the Civil Rights Movement across the South, including James Meredith’s integration of the University of Mississippi, the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, Martin Luther King’s funeral, and the Poor People’s Campaign.
Dr. King’s involvement in Mississippi includes attending the funeral of NAACP state field secretary Medgar Evers in 1963, visiting Greenwood in support of Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, and testifying in support of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.