By Clarksdale\Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jon Levingston.
In 2005, I was appointed to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Study Commission by Governor Haley Barbour. On Friday, December 8, 2017, I had the privilege of attending the reception at the newly completed Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi Museum of History Museum for former and current elected officials, patrons, and civil rights activists. It was the night before the opening. My brother, concert pianist Bruce Levingston, was invited to perform several pieces, one composed especially for the Museum opening.
I saw so many old friends, including Governor William Winter, Governor and former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, United States Senator Roger Wicker, former Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, Ambassador John Palmer, and our own State Senator Robert Jackson. Toward the end of the evening, I approached a small, wheelchair-bound lady. She stood to greet me, and I introduced myself to her. She asked me my connection to the museums and I told her. We looked each other in the eye. She thanked me as she embraced me. And I thanked her, Myrlie Evers-Williams, for her amazing strength and perseverance.
Both museums are inspiring and tell the story of Mississippi history, including that very extraordinary period known as the time of the Civil Rights Movement. These museums tell our stories brilliantly and with startling clarity. I was honored to represent our Chamber, the Industrial Foundation, and the Economic Development Authority on the opening night. I encourage everyone to attend both museums. These are our stories.