NPR

'Uncomfortable' Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Aims To Face Past, Move Forward

Organizers hope to stay focused on the museum's message for its opening, despite African-American congressmen's objections to President Trump's presence.
Visitors view exhibitions at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in CITY, which opens Saturday. Source: Debbie Elliott

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opens Saturday in Jackson as a testament to the state's complicated, often dark, racial and political history. This week, it became the setting of its own political dust-up, but organizers hope to stay focused on the museum's message.

Democratic Reps. John Lewis of Georgia and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi announced earlier this week that they would not attend the opening after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant extended an invitation to President Trump, who attended Saturday.

Mississippi is a key chapter in the nation's ongoing struggle for equality, but the state has been slow to acknowledge the racism and violence in its past. The new museum now tells that difficult story.

Pamela Junior, director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, guided a group of guests through the galleries before the official opening. The tour starts with a look at

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