Posted on Jul 31, 2018
President Jamey Mitchell presided over today’s meeting. Scott Hummel gave today’s invocation and Garland Sullivan led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Mark Killingsworth and Joey Johnson who served as our greeters today.
Jamey reminded members of the 100th Celebration scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, October 23 and will be held at Southern Oaks. Please hold the date open on your calendar. There will be no noon meeting that day.
Brandon Hodges reported that we have no visiting Rotarians. Scott Hummel has as his guests today three William Carey Business Majors. They are LeZandra Jackson, Caitlin Carigee and Dana Fairley. Ben Donald has Juan Bates as his guest and Mike Ratliff has Chris Howdeshea as his guest.
Our many thanks to Brother Rogers for providing our program last Tuesday. Visit the
Mississippi Dept. of Archives & History by clicking ---> here.
Erin Granberry then introduced today’s guest speaker, William “Brother” Rogers who is the director of the Programs and Communication Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. His assistant today is Nathan Weber. Brother came to talk to us today about the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History. The museums were opened last year as a part of the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration.
Rogers says this is the only $90 million museum complex in the United States. He also says both are Smithsonian caliber. The complex was funded by the Mississippi Legislature through bond sales with the leadership of then-governor Haley Barber. The Civil Rights Museum is the only state-funded civil rights museum in the United States. The complex has seen more than 200 thousand visitors in the first eight months of operation.
The Museum of Mississippi History represents one Mississippi and many stories, according to Brother. It contains 15,000 artifacts and begins with a nine-minute introduction video voiced by Mississippian Morgan Freeman. The opening exhibit is a 500-year-old canoe that was unearthed a few years ago. The museum also contains a representation of Mt. Locus from the Natchez Trace. It also has a Native American Mississippi history exhibit. You can also view one of only five remaining twenty-star flags. Mississippi became the nation’s 20th state.
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum earned credibility when Medgar Evers’ widow donated their family’s collection. Visitors can see a three-story tall “This Little Light of Mine” display. The light gets brighter and the song louder as the crowd in the entry foyer gets larger. The museum represents the civil rights struggle in our state from 1945 until 1976. Mississippians are used to tell their own stories. When you see an exhibit with broken glass it represents a period when someone died.
The Lynching Monoliths list information about every person in the state who was lynched by a lynch mob without a trial. It contains the person’s name, the date they were lynched, the county where they were lynched and the crime they were accused of.
You can also see the “Separate but (not) Equal” exhibit that shows you what the white schools looked like compared to the black schools. There are exhibits about Medgar Evers, Emmett Till, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the Vernon Dahmer Story, and the Clyde Kennard Story. Hattiesburg has an exhibit that tells our history regarding the civil rights struggles.
Brother encouraged everyone to attend and said you will not be disappointed. He says both museums are so great because they tell honest stories about our state’s history. Admission to one of the Museums is $8 or you can buy a pass for both for $12. They are opened Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 until 5 p.m. If you come to see both in one day Brother says you’ll need about 7 hours if you want to read every display and watch every video. The museums are located at 222 North Street in Jackson. You can get more information by calling (601) 576-6800 or you can visit the website at
Jamey thanked Brother for today’s very interesting presentation. He also announced that Christian Services is having their annual banquet on August 21. He would like to see our club have a table at the banquet. If you are interested, please let him know. With no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned by Paula with our motto, “Service Above Self.”