Civil Rights – Itinerary

Though the civil rights movement spread throughout the country, the early movement began in Mississippi thanks to some courageous, native souls. These include people such as Ida B. Wells, who was born a slave yet rose to lead millions against slavery through her strong will and powerful writings, and James Meredith, who epitomized bravery as he paved a way for higher education for African Americans in the South. The Mississippi Hills are overflowing with civil rights history and African American heritagelet us guide you through the must-see spots.

The Corinth Contraband Camp was a safe haven for over 6,000 escaped slaves where they created a new life for themselves. An hour away in Holly Springs is Rust College, which was founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society as a school for freed slaves. The school initially offered elementary classes and steadily grew adding high school and college courses. Also in town is the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum that delves deep into the life of this iconic civil rights activist. Nearby in Oxford is the University of Mississippi Lyceum Building and Civil Rights Monument. The Lyceum, once the admissions office of the university, was a focal point for controversy when James Meredith enrolled there in 1962. Meredith’s significant stand for African American education is commemorated in a monument standing behind the Lyceum with the word “Courage” emblazoned across its top. Before you leave, get your NPS Passport stamped at Visit Oxford. A two-hour trip to Columbus is worth the drive to see Catfish Alley, once a hotspot for African American music and entertainment and now a beautiful walkway filled with vibrant artwork that greets and inspires all who pass.

The brave heroes listed above paved the way for all to be treated with respect, and helped foster a welcoming spirit found today throughout the Mississippi Hills.