As the home of Medgar Evers, Jackson preserves its civil rights heritage.
By Michael Ream

Jackson, Miss., has a variety of civil rights sites to discover. Information is available from the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.visitjackson.com, 800-354-7695).

A statue of Medgar Evers in Jackson, where the civil rights leader’s home has been preserved. Michael Ream photo
A good place to start is the Smith Robertson Museum at 528 Bloom St. It’s located in Jackson’s first public school for black children. The museum offers displays related to the black experience in Mississippi from slavery onward.

Numerous other sites are clustered on nearby Farish Street, the historic black business district of Jackson. Peaches, 327 Farish, is a soul food restaurant that’s popular with locals.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the tour is the Medgar Evers Home and Museum, located at 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive. The humble house is open by appointment only. To make reservations, contact Tougaloo College at (601) 977-7700.

The modest house has been restored to look largely as it did when civil rights leader Evers lived there with his wife, Myrlie, and children. There is a roomful of displays on Evers’ remarkable life, including his service in World War II, which included the D-Day invasion, and his civil rights leadership in Mississippi, which included the struggle to integrate the University of Mississippi.

In 1963, Evers was assassinated as he stepped out of his car.

“You could tell Medgar believed in what he was doing,” said Minnie Watson, curator of the house and museum. “He knew a change had to be made.”

That change lives on in Jackson, for all to see.
Jan/Feb 2008 Issue


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