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Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Jackson, MS

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum presents an unflinching portrayal of the civil rights movement in what was one of the most oppressive states in the union. Monadnock Media is proud to have designed and produced the multimedia exhibits, with the participation of many local people who were part of the struggle for equality.

“Going through the museum of my history, I wept because I felt the blows, I felt the bullets, I felt the tears. I felt the cries. But I also sensed the hope.”
Myrlie Evers-Williams

Designer
Hilferty & Associates
Size
17,000 sq. ft.
Components
27

Roles
  • Media Master Planning
  • Media Design
  • Production
  • A/V System Design
  • Tech Systems Oversight
  • Installation

Featured Components

Freedom Summer

In this evocative program, former SNCC leaders and volunteers recount with solemn pride their accomplishments and experiences during that iconic summer. Set inside a recreated country church, the multimedia experience plays out on the front wall of the sanctuary, recalling the heady days of mass meetings as well as the dangers these young people faced as they set out to change Mississippi—and the country. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

March to Freedom

Using this large interactive table, visitors explore the aftermath of many hard-fought civil rights victories such as school desegregation, equal employment, and voting rights. Living with and implementing them brings a new set of challenges and difficulties, which users are asked to navigate. Several times an hour the table plays a three-minute program, Why We March, which explores the many causes that inspire people to come together and march.

Chaney Goodman Schwerner

A dramatic, skewed projection area spreads over two walls and the floor of this theater. The intentionally distorted images immerse visitors in the tragic story of three young civil rights workers who were lynched by a KKK mob at the start of Freedom Summer in 1964.

Emmett Till

Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, this theater program recounts the dramatic story of Emmett Till’s brutal murder in 1955. Brought to national attention when graphic photos of his body were published in Jet magazine, many civil rights activists count Till’s death as the spark that helped ignite the civil rights movement.

This Little Light of Mine

Based on a beloved freedom song, This Little Light of Mine, this interactive light sculpture is at the heart of the museum and provides a contemplative, calming respite from the difficult and tragic stories of Mississippi’s past. In its interactive mode, each person who walks through the space adds “their light,” symbolizing the power of people coming together for a cause. In show mode, the sculpture comes alive with Freedom Songs performed by Mississippi singers, young and old. The songs inspire visitors just as they inspired civil rights activists during the darkest days of the movement.

Separate Is Not Equal

The Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 sent shockwaves across Mississippi. It not only challenged the segregated school system but put into question an entire way of life. This immersive theater tracks the immediate impact of the decision and the long and often violent struggle to implement it. Set inside a country school room—one half representing a black school and the other a white—visitors are immediately confronted with the devastating effects of segregation. Narrated by Robin Roberts.