Barbour, Snowden Bring Leadership Mississippi Presence to Museum Groundbreaking Ceremony
Ground was broken in Jackson recently for the Mississippi Museum of History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The twin structures are expected to open in time for the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2017.
Numerous dignitaries addressed the large crowd at the groundbreaking ceremonies, including Gov. Phil Bryant, former governors Haley Barbour (Leadership Mississippi Class of 1977-1978), William Winter and Ronnie Musgrove, and Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams, wife of slain civil rights martyr Medgar Evers.
Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Greg Snowden (Leadership Mississippi Class of 1984-1985) spoke on behalf of the House of Representatives. Snowden urged citizens to take the state’s history personally, declaring that “All Mississippi history belongs to all Mississippians.”
Snowden’s remarks indeed were personal, citing references to his pioneer ancestors who helped found Lauderdale County, family members who fought in the Civil War, and others who served before him in the Legislature. Stressing that we cannot “pick and choose” which parts of history to share, and that the bad must be told with the good, Snowden mentioned that his own ancestors were slaveholders, and revealed that a distant relative (whom he never met) had been a part of the “murder party” that killed three civil rights workers in Neshoba County in 1964.
Noting that although two museums would be built, Snowden nevertheless emphasized that Mississippi’s history is a common, undivided one. “This is not a black history, nor a white history, nor a red history,” he said. “Rather it is the shared story of all sons and daughters of Mississippi.”