Mississippi Freedom Trail

Beyond the Civil War and blues and country music, Mississippi’s rich history also reminds us how prominent our state was in the battle for civil justice. Part of the United States Civil Rights Trail, the Mississippi Freedom Trail consists of 25 sites that offer visitors the opportunities to learn more about the Civil Rights movement, honor important figures of the era, and sightsee across the great state of Mississippi.

Mississippi: Rooted in the Civil Rights Movement

In August of 1955, a 14-year-old African American boy named Emmett Till visited Bryant’s Grocery in Money, Mississippi, to buy some candy. The Caucasian shopkeeper, Carolyn Bryant, claimed Till flirted with her, and it wouldn’t be long before Till was abducted by Bryant’s half-brother and husband. Later, Till’s mutilated body was recovered in the Tallahatchie River, and though the two men were acquitted, they later profited off of their murder confession by selling it to a magazine called Look.

This unfortunate event in our state’s history is highly regarded as one of the main events that sparked the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Other incidents that pushed the civil rights conversation included the assassination of Reverend George Lee of Belzoni, Mississippi, after he registered to vote, as well as the killing of three Neshoba County Civil Rights activists and Medgar Evers’ murder in 1963. Today, however, Mississippi stands at the forefront of changing times, with more African American officials elected into office than any other state in the union, continuing the Civil Rights movement that positively impacted so many and changed the country forever.

25 Must-See Sites on the Mississippi Freedom Trail

Created in 2011, the Mississippi Freedom Trail’s first markers debuted during the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation’s 2011 reunion activities, which were enjoyed by 1961 Freedom Riders. Now, there are 25 total markers along the trail, and if you’re not sure where to start, head over to Jackson, Mississippi. There, you can visit popular stops such as:

  • Council of Federated Organizations Civil Rights Education center
  • Two Mississippi Museums
  • Greyhound Bus Station
  • Home of Medgar Evers
  • Jackson State University
  • Mississippi State Capitol
  • Tougaloo Collage
  • Woolworth’s site of the 1963 sit-in
  • And more

In Northern Mississippi, you can find the home of civil rights activist Amzie Moore in Cleveland,as well as William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s gravesite in Ruleville. You can also visit the towns of Mayersville, Greenwood, Blue Mountain, and Holly Springs for more markers. If you’re in the Mississippi Delta region, visit Aaron Henry’s Fourth Street Drug Store in Clarksdale, or if you’re on the Gulf Coast, visit Biloxi Beach in Biloxi.

Relive the Civil Rights Movement on Your Trip to Mississippi

Want to know more about the Mississippi Freedom Trail, our state’s role in the Civil Rights movement, or other worthwhile attractions? The team at Visit Mississippi is standing by to assist. Feel free to contact us  for more information.

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