7 Lesser-Known Civil Rights Sites to Visit in JXN MS

Retracing the footsteps of our nation’s most revered Civil Rights pioneers has never been more critical than it is today.

Jackson, Mississippi, is already famous for its renowned Civil Rights Museum, highlighting such crucial Mississippians as Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Vernon Dahmer. But these lesser-known sites in Jackson are every bit as necessary for nourishing the mind and spirit.

Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument

Designated as an African American Civil Rights Network (AARCN) site, the home of Civil Rights icon Medgar Evers still stands today.

A WWII veteran and Mississippi’s field secretary for the NAACP, Medgar Evers both lived and died at this site, assassinated in his driveway in 1963 by a Ku Klux Klan member.

Medgar’s commitment to desegregating higher education and expanding voting rights and economic opportunity changed Mississippi forever. The home he shared with his family is a testament to his courageous life.

Mississippi Freedom Trail

Starting from Medgar Evers’ home, visitors can experience several sites of Civil Rights significance on the Mississippi Freedom Trail. Historical markers adorn such places as the Greyhound Bus Station, Mississippi State Capitol, and Council of Federated Organizations Civil Rights Education Center.

Other sites include Tougaloo College—an HBCU founded in 1869—and Jackson State University and the site of a 1963 sit-in at a Woolworth’s department store.

International Museum of Muslim Cultures

Islam’s connection with the Civil Rights movement shaped both the leaders and the struggle itself. The International Museum of Muslim Cultures captures the importance of faith in the fight for equality.

Examine 700-year-old literature from Timbuktu and artifacts from Moorish Spain or review the interfaith allegiance for human dignity founded to foster coexistence across aisles and racial divides.

Farish Street, circa 1947

In post-war 1947 Jackson, the Farish Street District boomed with African American families sharing their culture, prosperity, and independence.

A place of their own, residents founds a comfortable and welcoming life here among Black-owned businesses and community fellowship.

Sadly, like many promises, much of Farish Street and the surrounding buildings sit more silently today. A historic district, the nine blocks of Farish Street bear commemorative markers celebrating the district’s glory days. Visitors can still see the Alamo Theater and Trumpet Records—two much-loved institutions in the bygone community that’s slowly, steadily, mounting its comeback.

Historic Churches

The Civil Rights movement sprang from a moral certainty—the equality of all God’s creatures as exemplified through faith. Today, churches in Jackson remain active as both places of worship and monuments to the movement.

The Christ Temple Church of Christ Holiness, U.S.A. Old Mt. Helm Baptist Church, Central United Methodist Church, and Farish Street Baptist Church are lovely to behold as both pieces of architecture and places of worship. The Woodworth Chapel at Tougaloo College served as a meeting place for those inspired in the wake of Medgar Evers’ death.

Big Apple Inn

This 4th generation family-owned eatery is still serving up satisfying meals on Farish Street.

Founded by an immigrant family from Mexico in the early 20th century, the Big Apple Inn specializes in smoked sausage and pig ear sandwiches and the signature tamales that first put the location on the map.

Medgar Evers himself held meetings downstairs in the Big Apple Inn, and Freedom Riders often met there when they came to town. Today, visitors can enjoy a literal taste of Civil Rights history at the Big Apple Inn.

Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues

Also located on Farish Street, Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues sits in the same location as the storied Crystal Palace, an epic 1940s venue that featured such famous acts as Redd Fox, Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong.

Today, guests can still admire live performances, great food, and expertly curated whiskeys and cognacs amidst an expansive cocktail menu and regular wine tastings.

The Capitol Rally marker
Credit: Drew Dempsey

Visit Jackson, Reenergize the Fight

Jackson’s Civil Rights significance is beyond dispute. Its sites still embody the struggle for human dignity and equality today.

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