Hard history: Mississippi museums explore slavery, Klan era

Photo: WJTV

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi is marking its bicentennial by opening two history museums that take an unflinching look at the state’s past – complete with displays of slave chains, Ku Klux Klan robes and graphic photos of lynchings and firebombings.

The Museum of Mississippi History covers 15,000 years. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum focuses primarily on 1945 to 1976.

They are two distinct museums under a single roof. They open Saturday – the eve of Mississippi’s 200th anniversary as the 20th state.

State officials insist the museums are not “separate-but-equal” representations of the past.

The general history museum includes depictions of Native American culture, European settlement, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction.

The civil rights museum tells about efforts to break down segregation and bigotry, and the violent backlash against that work.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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