The Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC) and Visit Mississippi are attempting to double the amount of Mississippi Freedom Trail markers in the state by waiving the installation fee for the first time.
Currently, there are 30 Mississippi Freedom markers throughout the state honoring heroes of the civil rights movement, with each installation costing around $10,000. At this time, Mississippi has markers established for Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, and Medgar Evers, as well as historical sites including Biloxi Beach, the site of a 1960 wade-in.
MHC’s program and outreach officer John Spann says the council’s scholars committee has already approved 13 new markers. He added that they believe that number will rise quickly once citizens realize they can honor civil rights pioneers in their community at no cost.
“This is a great opportunity for all Mississippians to explore their own community’s civil rights history and highlight a lesser-known event or person permanently,” Spann stated. “The expansion of the Freedom Trail is not only an educational tool for tourists but Mississippians as well.”
Submissions are now open to the public until March 31 if those interested want to take advantage of the new funding. After the deadline passes, funding for the markers will be a 50 percent match requirement from the marker sponsor. All new Mississippi Freedom Trail markers will be in place by the end of 2024.
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