You know the feeling you get when you’re standing in front of the flight status screen at an airport or when you’re staring at any type of digital signage that contains critical data? Your eyes constantly re-focusing, as new figures come to light. Your brain mildly frozen as it stores information.
This weekend I retrieved a great deal of knowledge from a place that is new to my state.
This place dealt with death and despair; yet, gave me life. So much life…
Between real and fragmented time, in this place, you manage to find breathing spaces.
In this place, history floated above my head like the drinking gourd.
At one point, gospel music serenaded me and I connected deeply and personally with the reality of being back home…
The entire time I was in this place, it never lost heart.
In this place I was reminded that ‘M’ is for Murder, Mississippi, and yes, Miracle.
This place reminded me that all black boys are Emmett Till, and that every mother of a black boy is Mamie.
I am Mamie.
This place is where I learned that a bad reputation, annoying a white woman, writing an insulting note, or hiring a lawyer to protect a land title could get a black person lynched…in my home state.
A place that both shook and strengthened me.
For those of you who are in need of a personal revolution, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is now open, and free admission happens periodically.
Teachers, load up your school buses, these are the history lessons that are missing from your textbooks. This is the information you’re finding supplemental material for because, otherwise, how will our young people know the truth?
It is my hope that in 2018 people from all over the state will have the experience of walking through the museum’s astonishing eight galleries, experiencing truth.
I guarantee you’ll walk out feeling like a verse in that sacred Sam Cooke number.
Clinnesha D. Sibley is an award-winning playwright and published poet/essayist. She is the Literary Arts Instructor at Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, MS. For more information, please visit: http://onepagerapp.com/clinneshadsibley.