Jackson Cultural Sites
Jackson State University
DESCRIPTION: Established in Natchez, Mississippi in 1877 to train people newly freed from slavery, the institution was relocated to Jackson in 1882 where it occupies a scenic 131-acre tract only minutes from downtown. Formerly a private college, it transferred to state control in 1940. The state’s only urban institution of higher learning, Jackson State, has many excellent academic programs. There is Mississippi Freedom Trail Marker at Gibbs–Green Plaza in front of Alexander Hall. On 15 May 1970, violence erupted here during what started as a peaceful Vietnam War protest sit-in. It involved several hundred students and a large number of heavily armed State Police. At the end of day, two black students were killed and 12 others wounded. This event did not receive as much publicity as 4 white students killed at Kent State for similar protests, but should have. Gallery 1 (601-979-9250) at One University Place on 1100 Lynch Street is Mississippi’s premier African Diaspora art gallery, from pre-slavery to present day. The gallery emphasizes the educational and historical accomplishments of the University in its permanent art collection. Local and national artists to showcase and sell their artwork here.
ADDRESS: 1400 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS MAP
H.T. Sampson Library
DESCRIPTION: The library houses portraits, rare book collections and African artifacts. The enlarge library is big enough for all of Mississippi to be proud of. Its located on Jackson State University campus.
ADDRESS: 1700 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS MAP
Margaret Walker Alexander Center for The Study of The African-American Experience
DESCRIPTION: Based on her 50-year career as a published writer, Dr. Alexander received the National Education Association Senior Fellowship Award for Lifetime Achievement and Contributions to American Literature in 1991. Two of her books Jubilee and My People received national acclaim. The city renamed the street of her residence in her honor and a public library. In 30 years at Jackson State, she served as director of the Institute for the Study of History, Life and Culture of Black People (renamed Margaret Walker Center). The center addresses life in the Civil Rights Movement, African American migration, Head Start Programs, health care, business, rural life, home ownership, churches, night life, the legal profession, military life, and music, whether it be Blues, Jazz, Gospel and Classics. The Center houses records like the papers of the late Margaret Walker Alexander, former U.S. Secretary of Education, Roderick Paige and a large oral history department that includes nearly 2000 interviews of local citizens.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 8a-5p
ADDRESS: Jackson State University, Jackson, MS MAP
COFO Civil Rights Education Center
DESCRIPTION: Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was founded in 1961. Created as an umbrella organization for all civil right groups functioning in the state of Mississippi during the freedom struggle. Voter registration and education were their top priorities. COFO organized the voter registration project during Freedom Summer in 1964. Learn about all of the student freedom action groups at this center.
DAYS & HOURS: Tours by appointment for groups
ADDRESS: 1017 John R Lynch Street, Jackson, MS MAP
Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center
DESCRIPTION: In the heart of historic Black community, Smith Robertson is a comprehensive depository of artifacts portraying the Black Mississippian experience in the fields of history, art, music, and literature, the museum was formerly Smith Robertson Elementary School, the first pubic school for African American children in Jackson. Field to Factory exhibitions features photographs and artifacts depicting the northern migration of Blacks and serves as a nice beginning point for the Northern Migration Statue in Chicago. Those Who Stayed exhibition depicts the lifestyles of Blacks who remained in Mississippi; separately managed gift shop inside. Reservations for large groups are encouraged.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p, Sat 9a-Noon, Sun 2p-5p
ADDRESS: 528 Bloom Street, Jackson, MS MAP
Medgar Evers Statue at Medgar Evers Library
DESCRIPTION: A life-sized bronze statue of Evers was erected in the front of this city library in Evers former neighborhood by local citizens. On the front line of the civil rights movement, in 1954 Evers was the first Field Secretary for the NAACP in Jackson and the first paid NAACP staff in the state. Evers and state NAACP president, Aaron Henry, built the Civil Rights Movement from the ground up in Mississippi. Today, Medgar Evers is remembered as an important symbol for all freedom-loving people around the world.
ADDRESS: 4215 Medgar Evers Blvd, Jackson, MS MAP
International Museum of Muslim Cultures
DESCRIPTION: Insightfully examines how in 711 AD, a Muslim Berber army crossed from Morocco over the Straits of Gibraltar to defeat Spain and how Europe’s Renaissance can be traced back to Islamic Moorish Spain. You will also better understand the Moors’ culture of tolerance and intellectual advancement. Wheelchair Accessible.
ADMISSION: Adult $7, Seniors, Children and Disabled $4, Children $3
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-8p
ADDRESS: 117 East Pascagoula Street, Jackson, MS MAP
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1869 by the American Missionary Association to provide teacher education and industrial training for African Americans on a former plantation. Nine historic buildings on the campus date from the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries. The library features over 1,000 paintings, sculptures and carvings in one of the most extensive Afrocentric art collections in the South.
ADDRESS: 500 West County Line Road, Jackson, MS MAP
DESCRIPTION: Though small relative to the big NYC and LA record labels, Malaco has quietly become one of the most important Blues, R&B and Gospel record companies. It’s the recording home to Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor and Jackson Southernaires to name just a few. Visit their website for greatest hit samples.
ADDRESS: 3023 West Northside Drive, Jackson, MS MAP