A Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, Keena Graham has had an extensive career with the National Park Service, including time at the Arlington House, the National Mall, the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and the Russell Cave National Monument. Keena helped commemorate the Trail of Tears and the 50th Anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery. Now, she calls Jackson home, where she is the first superintendent of the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Home National Monument.

Keena's Civil Rights Must-Sees

All the places I chose have that power of place that the National Park Service champions.

Old Greyhound Bus Station

300 W. Capitol Street

Not only is this Art Deco building stunning, but the history it holds is rich. This station was the site of many arrests during the May 1961 Freedom Rides of the Civil Rights Movement.

"The building is a work of art. It connects Jackson to the larger Freedom Riders story so well with some of those still living in Jackson and even volunteering at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum," says Keena.

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Woodworth Chapel at Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College

500 W. County Line Road

This private, historically black four-year liberal arts college sits on 500 acres on the city's northern edge. Since 1871, Tougaloo College has been the home to events that would leave a significant mark on the city, state, and country's history. During the 1960s, the college's social commitment was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, serving as a safe haven for those who fought for freedom, equality, and justice. Here, strategies for ending segregation and improving race relations were formulated. Tougaloo College leadership's bravery in supporting the movement and opening the campus to Freedom Riders and Civil Rights activists ushered in change.

"My goodness, enough cannot be said about how important that college was to the Civil Rights Movement," says Keena. "Our man was there, Rev. Ed King, the Tougaloo 9, and the list goes on and on."

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Farish Street Historic District

Until the 1970s, this historic neighborhood was a well-known hub for black-owned businesses. The flourishing business district was where Jackson's business community thrived despite Jim Crow. Farish Street was home to Trumpet Records, Ace Records, many restaurants, and the NAACP office run by Medgar Evers.

"The whole street is loaded with Civil Rights history," says Keena. "Medgar Evers had his first office above the Big Apple Inn. He had NAACP meetings in the church basement, and his body was prepared at the funeral home on the street." Learn more.