VISIT JACKSON, MS: PART 2
I’m picking up from part 1 of my recap of my visit to Jackson, Mississippi. If you missed it, you can catch it all here. My visit to Jackson was to celebrate the people, the food, the culture but also the history of the city. I think we all know that Mississippi has a rich, layered history but also a very dark history, so much of which remains controversial today. But I think, if you think of it only that way, with such a narrow view, there will be so much you’ll be missing. And that is why it is important to visit a city like Jackson in person- because the stories you may hear will never fully and truly represent all that a place has to offer.
In trying to understand the history, there is no better place to start other than the very new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The museum is actually part of 2 museum: the Mississippi Museum of history And the Civil rights museum, both opened in December 2017.
While both museums are important, the Civil rights museum tells a very difficult story. And thats because Mississippi was in many ways, ground zero for civil rights. It is where so much happened. The museum aims to promote a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifices of its peoples. And those 2 words are important, “strength” and “sacrifices”. What happened in Mississippi has shaped so much of what happened everywhere in this country. The stories of strength are so moving and inspiring.
I knew when I took this trip, that the museum would be a highlight, but I had no idea how important it would be to me and just how moved I would be. We arrived relatively early in the day, before the crowds, so that we could take it all in. I implore you to visit and I implore you to block off at least a good 3 hours, although I’m sure like me, you will need more than that. I was embarrassed by how little I knew compared to what I thought I knew. I was inspired by the activism of young people then and was reminded how quick we are to forget history. Young people (like Mississippi’s Tougaloo Nine and the Freedom riders) have always been at the forefront of every great movement in this country. It’s hard to convey it all in words but I did put together some video (will go LIVE soon), that captures some of what had an impact on me.
After the museum, and hours spent diving into history and into the past, I was ready to step back to the future, or rather the present. To appreciate and see how far the city had come. One of the first things I did, was meet up with Spray Jxn and More Than a Tourist. They took me to see local artists in their artist space, to check out the murals and street art in Jackson. We also wen to visit local businesses and entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds, some truly local, some newer to the city. A city is not just it’s past. A city is its present and its future. I ended the day filled with hope, hopeful that each day we move further away from what was (never forgetting the past of course) and closer to what is. And there’s so much to love about what is in Mississippi. I think you should give it a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you uncover- you’ll find a City With Soul.
Scroll through the pics to find my top 5 picks for Jackson, MS.
A few of my fave joints in Jackson:
- Babalu Tacos & Tapas – amazing guacamole and more
- Pig & Pint: can’t go to MS without some BBQ
- Hal & Mal’s: where the drinks and the party is at
- La Brioche: A little sweet before visiting the Museum of Art
- Saltine: best meal I had entire trip was here. Excellent food, so well seasoned. A must.
- I recommend you stay at the new Westin Jackson and do yourself a favor, try out their spa services. Not only are they centrally located, they also have a great restaurant.