Smith Robertson Museum - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MUST SEE: Smith Robertson Museum

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It was the first school for African American students in Jackson.   Recently it was named one of the places tourists must see when they come to Mississippi. The Smith Robertson Museum has weathered many storms, and is now growing with new exhibits and attention.  

Smith Robertson Museum is tucked away on Bloom Street in Downtown Jackson. It was the heart of the community when it was built in 1894 as Jackson's first public school for black students.

It was named after the city's first black city alderman, Smith Robertson. Pamela Junior is the Museum's Director.

"They called this the mother school," said Junior. "How wonderful of a name, to feel that when you walked in a place like this, that you were gonna be taken care of."

Renowned author Richard Wright attended school here. When you walk in today you are greeted with an exhibit which shows what a typical classroom looked like.

"The things African Americans went through from Africa to here is so important," added Junior. "We've lost that. We've lost the porch stories. We've lost all of that.   If we don't get back to telling about Aunt Jennie, about Uncle Jim, or whomever, then our children don't know their story."

One of the newest exhibits that is scheduled to be completed by this summer,  when the state celebrates Freedom Summer, is a slave ship.

"The whole exhibition is from Africa to Mississippi," Junior explained. "You're gonna see how the slaves, how the Africans were put in the hull of the ship and how they were there for 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks." 

Junior says the museum is a teaching and educational tool for anyone who takes the time to stop by.

"We believe in our culture, we believe in learning about our people," said Junior. "So when you get here, you're gonna get it, and when you walk out, you're gonna walk out a different person."

Our next stop is the former home of civil rights leader, Medgar Evers.  The home he shared with his family and where he was assassinated in the driveway, June 12, 1963.  You can see that report next Monday night at 6.

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