I always enjoy learning about history and especially my history. Museums are popping up all over to share amazing facts about our past and I must admit I prefer the Tour Guide assisted ones the most. There is nothing quite like a well prepared curator to transport you back in time and recreate the treasures of history that is lost from the pages of textbooks.
Located in Jackson, MS it is truly something different about standing in the space that this man who gave his life for fighting for the freedoms I now enjoy that renders you speechless. In his own words he lived with the fear of his inevitable demise his stand for freedom would take. He left behind three young children and a young wife who would have to continue on in the fear of being targeted. Indeed as scripture says, you must first bind the strong man if one is to take a house. (Matt. 12:29) His death was a tremendous blow to the cause and delayed justice of his murderer was a slap in the face. Mississippi is one of the most ruthless places for the atrocities of those of us of color in the land. For that cause it’s fitting that it would house within its borders so many museums that preserve that fact. Of course not to its complement though unfortunately many people would consider it’s distasteful treatment of its own citizens to be otherwise, nevertheless I am thankful the accurate history is made available for those of us desiring to discover it.
The window that has preserved the bullet hole still visible and the furniture and walls where a bullet ricochet through still visible to reveal the horror a family had to endure for refusing to apologize for their existence and demanding equal treatment for a system that is receiving equal pay through taxes and patronage from his hard earned money.
His daughters room, Reena, now holds the wall with his life’s story as a beautiful collage and honorable tribute. When decent and humble people can’t raise their family in peace it is a tragedy. The struggle had never been about being treated better or receiving something for nothing, but being treated equal. Being treated as you want others to treat you. Such a simple biblical principle that all people should be able to have access too and be willing to live by.
I am often amazed at how peaceably those who are blessed to be historical orators are at sharing such a profound history. To be trusted to pass on such valuable information is like having ownership of a trust. The most important thing about a trust is what will you do with it? How will you keep the legacy, how will you preserve the treasure of such a name? I was happy to hear the family is continuing the work. Reena is actively working to make a difference in the African American youth of Mississippi and her brother and Mother helps her in that work. I am equally glad that they have chosen to make their home a landmark that will stand for future generations so that they never forget what love looks like and the devastation hate can cause.