(from legends magazine)
By Julian Rankin
Photography by Marianne Todd
Next door to the Civil Rights Museum, in the Museum of Mississippi History, the clock is three and one-eighth inches wide and one and five-eighths inches tall. A small brass cylinder, the top slides open to reveal the clock face, frozen in time at nine o’clock and thirty-five seconds. It belonged to Edmond Boudreaux, who had been a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the Museum of Mississippi History since 1998. He retrieved it from his demolished Biloxi home in 2005, after the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina rose up and stopped the hands. “It makes me want to cry,” says Lucy Allen, Director of the Museums Division for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), who project-directed the agency’s ambitious 2 Mississippi Museums initiative.” Edmond called a few days after the storm, Allen recalls. “We’ve lost everything,” he said. “But I have some artifacts I want to give you because you have to tell this story.”
As the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum open in conjunction with the state’s bicentennial, they are not just marking history, but making it. The state-managed project has been an immense undertaking by countless committed Mississippians. It is the culmination of nearly two decades of planning and $90 million in public and private investment. It has garnered support from four Mississippi governors, guidance from an advisory council representing more than 20 cultural, ethnic and religious groups and expertise from a consortium of three Jackson architecture firms, enabling the museums to tell 15,000 years of triumphant and turbulent history through artifacts and voices large and small.
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