No Need For Sugar: The Responsibility of Museums to Communities of Trauma

No Need For Sugar: The Responsibility of Museums to Communities of Trauma


Tulane University


Keywords communities of trauma, cultural trauma, museum pedagogy, visitor transformation, Mississippi Civil Rights Museums

Abstract The definition of museums in the modern era is evolving to reflect their inclusive and democratizing nature and their active participation with communities in protecting and presenting diverse histories for the betterment of our world. With this increased emphasis on promoting social justice, what then is the responsibility of museums to communities of trauma? A case study of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi highlights what that particular responsibility is and showcases the cultural impact of museums that address community trauma. It demonstrates the need for living history museums to display difficult knowledge in a way that values honesty over aesthetic, and the transformative nature of exhibitions to impact cultural change when they follow that pedagogical approach.

About the Author Miriam Taylor is a Mississippi native currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Tulane University in the Urban Studies track of the interdisciplinary City, Culture, and Community (CCC) program. Taylor’s research interest lies in socially engaged museum practices and the potential for positive change when cultural institutions work in active partnership with and for diverse communities, with a specific focus on institutions in the Gulf South. Before joining the CCC program, Taylor worked as the communications director at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the external affairs manager and associate director at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University (NAM). She currently serves as the interim director of NAM where she has assisted in developing programs, events, and community partnerships and aided in producing, publicizing, and fundraising for such exhibitions as “Laura Anderson Barbata: Transcommunality,” “Bmike Odums’ NOT Supposed 2-Be Here,” “EMPIRE by artist collective Fallen Fruit,” “LaToya Ruby Frazier: Flint is Family”, and the groundbreaking show “PerSister: Incarcerated Women of Louisiana,” which was awarded the 2019 Museum Exhibition of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Arts. She received both her B.A. in Journalism and B.A. in English from the University of Mississippi, before completing her Masters in Journalism at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.


Though the historical idea of the modern museum can be traced to Britain’s Ashmolean Museum, which opened in 1683, a statement regarding the purpose and parameters of a museum was not introduced until 1946 when the International Council of Museums (ICOM) was established. Early concerns for ICOM centered on “the educational role of museums, exhibitions, the international circulation of cultural goods and the conservation and restoration of cultural goods”) and its definition of a museum followed those same themes:

a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.[i]

This description, which functioned for more than half a century as a way to categorize cultural institutions across the world, is too limiting when it comes to describing the contemporary museum. ICOM’s proposed definition, introduced in September 2019, is more comprehensive in capturing the radical transformations that have happened to our institutions as we approach the third decade of the new century, defining museums as:

democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people. Museums are not for profit. They are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing.[ii]

The Responsibility of Museums: A Case Study

When considering museums as spaces which “contribute to human dignity and social justice” that aim to “guarantee equal rights and access,” as the new definition proposes they are—or should be—it follows to ask, what is the responsibility of cultural institutions to communities of trauma? To explore this question with specific content in mind, I offer as a case study the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi.

The first state-sponsored museum in the United States to focus solely on the Civil Rights Movement, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opened on December 9, 2017 in conjunction with the reopening of the Museum of Mississippi History (the original having been lost in Hurricane Katrina) after a sixteen-year-long effort from civil rights activists, historians, tourism officials, government agencies, and community members. After several stalled attempts to push state funding to support the museum through the Mississippi legislature, the museum won funding and approval in 2011 after then-Governor Barbour declared in his annual “State of the State” address that the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum must be built. He said, “this is the year to get this museum going. This is the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders and the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War” and threatened to call the legislature into special session if the civil rights museum was not funded.[iii]

As described on its website, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum “shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation. The museum promotes a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifice of its peoples.”[iv] The museum addresses a specific history of cultural trauma by presenting the stories of the affected communities in their own words, through their own artifacts and images, backed by historical evidence and contemporary contextualization. Through a variety of pedagogical approaches the museum unveils the difficult knowledge that was for too long hidden behind the curtain.

When exploring the pedagogical value of museums and their relationship to trauma, Brown argued that, “the mastery of knowledge that characterizes museum practice can be potentially dangerous, precisely because history shaped by traumatic violence becomes…a history that is essentially not over.”[v] Therefore when addressing cultural trauma in a museum setting, it is the responsibility of the museum to be overly cautious in its interpretation and display of past events, and avoid sugarcoating them. The museum’s priorities are two-fold and equal; it is accountable to the community whose story it’s presenting and to the audience choosing to walk through the doors. Keeping these responsibilities in mind when considering the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, several issues must first be acknowledged. One, the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi is, indeed, a history that is not over. As recently as April 2019, Mississippi still had segregated classrooms in certain school districts and it wasn’t until 2013 that Mississippi completed all steps necessary to ratify the 13th Amendment, making it the final state in the country to do so.[vi] Two, Mississippians have vastly different understandings of the Civil Rights Movement due to how it is remembered, misremembered, taught, or suppressed in their own household. And third, current research has exposed that the history (and presence) of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi is not taught comprehensively in the state’s public schools. It is this final issue, more than any other, that underscores the need for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and its pedagogical approach to be successful in order to, as ICOM puts it, “safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights.”[vii]

Prior to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s opening, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded a partnership with the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, and the State Department of Archives and History to support educational programs operated by the museum. This includes summer teaching training programs and school workshops to help prepare educators to teach students about the civil rights movement using the museum’s resources. The endowment also aids in digitizing important historical documents from the Evers collection that scholars, teachers and students can use for their study, and supports the Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series across Mississippi to engage communities in the museum’s programs. This endowment and the opportunities it provides for, coupled with the museum’s successful attendance by school groups (within the first seven months of opening one hundred thousand K–12 students visited the museum), underlines a unique obligation the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum holds—to make up for the aforementioned failing civil rights education system in the state.

According to a 2017 analysis of Mississippi public schools by the Hechinger Report and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, Mississippi school children are overwhelmingly under educated when it comes to the history of the Civil Rights Movement, in spite of living in the state that was ground zero for the Movement, and of a new set of standards issued in 2011 from the Mississippi Department of Education that requires lessons on Civil Rights history. Prior to 2011, the state did not require Civil Rights history to be taught at all.[viii]

According to a 2012 report from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Teaching Tolerance Project, Mississippi’s 2011 adoption of the Civil Rights/Human Rights requirement is considered a model of best practice for “ensuring that content is taught across multiple grade levels–essential for securing lasting and deep understanding.”[ix] However, simply having a requirement does not ensure that the content is taught or that it is taught effectively in a way that leads to the requisite “lasting and deep understanding.”[x] While I applaud the new educational standards, which are far more comprehensive than previous expectations, inherent pitfalls remain. The 2011 criteria requires concepts related to the Civil Rights Movement to be taught as early as third grade, with in-depth history focusing on its effects taught in Mississippi Studies and U.S. History classes in high school. However, recent data collected by the Hechinger Report and Reveal demonstrated that these new standards are not being systemically implemented across the state. [xi] When the Hechinger Report and Reveal asked the state for a list of the primary textbooks used for the 2016–17 school year by each public school in Mississippi’s 148 districts, they found that data wasn’t available for every district and of those that did report, data was often incomplete. For the 116 districts that reported data the study revealed that:

  • In third grade, only three districts used textbooks published after 2011.
  • No fourth-grade classroom used a book published more recently than 2006. 
  • Seventy districts used older books exclusively for high school Mississippi Studies, with some using books with copyrights as early as 1995.
  • For the study of U.S. history after Reconstruction, forty districts used books published before 2011.

Mississippi Studies, which was found to be the most commonly used elementary textbook, reduced the lives and legacies of Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Unita Blackwell into one sentence describing them as people who “worked against unfair laws that made it hard for African Americans to vote in Mississippi.”[xii] The study also found that of the three textbooks used by high schools in the state Mississippi: Portrait of an American State (c. 1999), Mississippi: The Magnolia State (c. 2005), and A Place Called Mississippi (c. 2013), only one was published after the updated education standards were put in place. The majority of people mentioned in the Mississippi: The Magnolia State are white Mississippi authors and antebellum politicians, with Native Son author Richard Wright, an African- American from Natchez, being the one exception. The study also found that segregationist white politicians were covered more often in the Civil Rights chapter than any activists, Black or white, with critical groups (such as the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE)) and terms (such as “de facto” and “de jure” segregation) not included at all. Research also revealed that in Mississippi: Portrait of an American State, the Civil Rights chapter listed seventeen key figures for students to know, sixteen of them men, and only four of them Black. Perhaps, most telling of the textbooks’ bias, both of the older books (from 1999 and 2005) describe the state’s failure to convict the murderers of Emmett Till as “painting a poor picture of white Mississippians to the rest of the nation.”[xiii] And while the newer book, A Place Called Mississippi, demonstrated a far more inclusive portrait of the Civil Rights Movement— covering mostly activists rather than segregationist politicians, and highlighting the work of women such as Myrlie Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Constance Baker Motley—the study found that only a portion of the state’s districts taught from it.

The challenges facing the state in implementing comprehensive Civil Rights education are multifold. Textbooks are outdated. Locally controlled districts have the autonomy to choose their own methods of teaching the suggested standards, and even permit schools to neglect them completely. Compounding the issues of teaching content, state budget restraints have led to under-supported and often under-qualified teachers, the vast majority of whom are native to the state and were never taught comprehensive Civil Rights education themselves. The Hechinger Report and Reveal found that the Mississippi legislature only fully funded its public education budget twice between 1997 an 2017.[xiv] There is no quick fix or cure-all to adequately educating Mississippi’s youth on their state’s complex and traumatic history. However, I would contend that the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is as close to a silver bullet as one can get.

I would respond that museums addressing cultural trauma should not only consider what is absent from the historical narrative but that is imperative that they assume that everything is absent, that nothing is known and nothing has been told—this is the responsibility of the museum to those affected communities.

Continuing his exploration of a museum’s connection to cultural trauma, Brown argued that we must “recognize trauma as a form of knowledge prior to discourse” and that “while museum discourse is intended to have the effect of truth, its role in understanding cultural trauma may require that we consider the profundity of what is ‘absent’ in our ‘present’ field of representation.”[xv] I would respond that museums addressing cultural trauma should not only consider what is absent from the historical narrative but that is imperative that they assume that everything is absent, that nothing is known and nothing has been told—this is the responsibility of the museum to those affected communities.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is uniquely equipped to fill in the gaps that Mississippi’s public (and likely private) schools have left wide open. The museum offers extensive coverage of the movement and the people and places it had an impact on, as well as the honest accounts of the systems that led to violent eruptions across the state and their lingering effects on communities today. It accomplishes this by using a thoughtful blend of material artifacts and oral history to combat past misrepresentations and the “false histories” that plague Mississippi’s schoolbooks, tourist pamphlets, statehouses, and suburban homes. The museum demonstrates its commitment to telling as full a story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement as possible through its comprehensive content and attentive exhibition design. In Holland Cotter’s New York Times review of the museum, the critic stated that the concentrated structure, both of the museum’s subject matter and spatiality, along with its “refus[al] to sugarcoat history” made the “museum’s energy feel combustive.”[xvi]

The amount of content (much less its subject) is, at times, overwhelming. However, I would argue that the sense of suffocation that comes with absorbing such a large volume of information in a small space is intentional. The visitor is made to feel claustrophobic because claustrophobia is an appropriate reaction when faced with the realization of the effects of Mississippi’s closed society; it imparts a physical response to the informative task of reading texts. Boler’s concept of “the pedagogy of discomfort” which is both “an invitation to inquiry” and “a call to action” is an apt lens through which to view the display of information in the museum’s galleries.[xvii] This pedagogical approach to the structure of the museum exposes visitors to what Boler calls “inscribed habits of (in)attention,” or the “willingness to dwell in beliefs inherited non-critically” and actively challenges them to self-reflect.[xviii] Boler’s argument that dwelling in spaces of discomfort allows for enough distance from one’s identity and moral investment to permit fair inquest into one’s values and beliefs is critical to understanding the need for such an approach.

While the amount of information and many of the images and stories place visitors into this area of discomfort, the organization of the information is clear and concise. At the entrance to the exhibition hall the visitor is led through a timeline of the African slave trade and the events that led to the Civil War. The importance of including this cannot be overstated in a country where, as recently as 2018, only 8% of high school seniors polled identified slavery as the central cause for the Civil War.[xix] Prior to entering gallery one, visitors are notified:

To present a true and accurate story, the stories told here include acts of violence, oppression, and injustice. Quotations and documents are presented in their original context, and some include offensive images and language. “Warning” signs indicate graphic content.

By choosing to go further, the visitor must willingly give up the option for their version of the Civil Rights Movement to be whitewashed.

The documentation of violence and denial of rights against African-Americans in Mississippi is threaded side-by-side with stories of resistance. Each of the seven galleries (Mississippi Freedom Struggle, Mississippi in Black and White, A Closed Society, A Tremor in the Iceberg, I Question America, Black Empowerment, and Where Do We Go From Here) present both the collective story of a community under siege and individual traumas with integrity and impact. As Cotter wrote, “The museum’s approach to these wrenching episodes is calculatedly theatrical, and effective.”[xx] The brutal murders of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner are presented using a variety of storytelling methods, including video, photography, audio, and artifact. A historical copy of Jet Magazine lying open to the funeral photograph of Till’s tortured corpse effectively gut punches the viewer, just as it must have when it was originally published. To fulfill the aforementioned obligation to a community of trauma, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, as Cotter eloquently said, “privileges truth-telling, messy facts over clean-cut aesthetics.”[xxi]

The galleries, low-lit with texts, video, photographs, ephemera (many donated from the community), and audio recordings packed in from floor to ceiling, are chronological—of a sort—with the “chapters” of the Civil Rights Movement outlined around a center room, which features a powerful light and sound installation entitled “This Little Light of Mine” and offers visitors a hopeful pause from the heartbreaking subject matter. However, the installation does not act as moment to forget; instead it provides audiences with the opportunity to reflect on what it is they have learned so far while immersed in light, music, words, and images crafted in honor of Civil Rights activists, many of them slain in the process of fighting for their rights. The effectiveness of the dichotomy of this room is in stark contrast with the ineffectiveness of the ways Mississippians are taught Civil Rights education outside of the museum’s walls, underlining the problem with describing Medgar Evers as just a person who “worked against unfair laws that made it hard for African Americans to vote in Mississippi.”[xxii]

Deborah Britzman described this kind of learning experience as “difficult knowledge.”[xxiii] Defined specifically by Pitt and Britzman, it is “meant to signify both representations of social traumas in curriculum and the individual’s encounters with them in pedagogy.”[xxiv] Britzman further explained difficult knowledge as a kind of learning that “acknowledges that studying the experiences and the traumatic residuals of genocide, ethnic hatred, aggression, and forms of state-sanctioned—and hence legal—social violence requires educators” and, I would add, all audiences, “to think carefully about their own theories of learning and how the stuff of such difficult knowledge becomes pedagogical.”[xxv] Acknowledging (and actively counteracting) the risks associated with difficult knowledge becoming pedagogical—namely, the risk of its reduction—is an added responsibility museums have to communities of trauma when presenting their stories.

Additional elements in the museum echo the histories they display. Bullet-ridden glass frames the biographies and images of murdered activists, columns of names of lynching victims lead further into the ceiling to form a tree, derogatory-remarks, racist slurs, and the sounds of slaps and whip-cracks follow the visitor through a series of recreated store and movie-fronts with “whites only” signs, and an interactive school and church installation highlight the incidents that happened in those places and provide the visitor with immersive experiences that shock and educate but also ground the story in places of the everyday. In one gallery visitors learn stories of the Freedom Summer Workers while arrows on the floor lead them to the back of a paddy wagon or into a recreated jail cell. “Point of Light” marquees highlighting white and Black activists, men and women that fought for the freedom of all, are peppered throughout the halls. And, in every room, there is more to explore. Maps of various locations in Mississippi, recognizable to school groups from across the state, feature the history of riots, sit-ins, burnings, voter-turn out drives, Freedom Schools, historical homes and places, emphasizing that the museum exists beyond its home in Jackson.

According to the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME), a Standing Professional Committee of the American Association of Museums (AAM), the current rubric for excellence in museum exhibitions is organized into six major categories: audience awareness, content, collections, interpretation/communication, design and production, and ergonomics.[xxvi] On this basis, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum exhibitions would hold fairly successful. In the first seven months attendance exceeded 185,000 visitors according to MDAH; state tourism officials had projected 180,000 visitors in the first year, the content is comprehensive, the collection is cared for in alignment with museum standards, the interpretation is effective, the design powerful, and the galleries easily accessible. I would maintain, though, that for cultural institutions addressing community trauma a seventh indicator for exhibition success must be included: that of visitor transformation. Does it, as Barbara Soren defined, “profoundly change individuals’ attitudes, interests, appreciation, beliefs, or values?”[xxvii]

Brown stated that, “if history is not over, then what we do as [museum] educators will continue to have social and ethical consequences.”[xxviii] Not only must a cultural institution that addresses communities of trauma assume that no knowledge of the event is known prior to the encounter with the museum, it must also presume that the knowledge imparted during that encounter will then have an impact on others. Each visitor to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, whether they stay for five minutes or five hours, stands witness to a story that has never fully been told. And, as educational theorist Shoshona Felman claimed, “to bear witness is to take responsibility for the truth.”[xxix] Segall wrote that many museums, that address difficult knowledge “tend to convey the notion that difficult knowledge inherent in their respective subject matter is of a far away place and time, had no perpetrators—no sense of responsibility and accountability—and thus little with which to implicate the visitor toward action,” whether intentionally or otherwise.[xxx] In contrast, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum actively asks visitors to consider the current state of civil rights in Mississippi and invites them to act on it, however minor, prior to leaving the museum. Intended “to inspire conversation and consideration,” the final gallery in the museum titled “Where Do We Go From Here?” features the voices from a diverse group of Mississippians discussing the progress the state has made and the many challenges that remain. Visitors are invited to reflect on what they’ve seen and leave their own remarks and stories, further adding to the content of the exhibition. Rather than leaving visitors with what Segall would call “a sense of incompletion … that forecloses action once one leaves the museum,” visitors exit the museum into a town of living history, a city still pockmarked with vestiges of the past, the true final gallery.[xxxi]

The entrance, and therefore the exit, to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is located on North Street only blocks away from the site of hundreds of protests, beatings, arrests and imprisonments associated with the Civil Rights Movement. It is also less than a mile from the Veterans Memorial Stadium where segregationist Governor Ross Barnett, who infamously compared school integration to white genocide, gave his “I Love Mississippi” speech the evening prior to the 1962 riot over the admission of James Meredith, an African-American, to the University of Mississippi, which led to the death of two people. Exiting the museum in site of the Mississippi Fairgrounds is a profound experience after you’ve seen and heard from Freedom Summer workers who were arrested en-masse and held like cattle at those same Fairgrounds. One cannot overemphasize the cultural impact of a museum centered on the story of the Civil Rights Movement in a state that still bore the flag of the Confederacy until 2020 over its capitol building. The museum, as Cotter concluded in his review:

The story it tells is still in progress: from 1960s Jackson, to Ferguson, Mo., Charlottesville, Va., and the 2017 White House. That the new museum says this outright, and leaves us upset, its story unresolved, is what makes it work. We don’t need our museums—any of them—to calm us down; we need them to sound alarms.[xxxii]


In “If My Son is Going to Be From Mississippi” essayist Catherine Grey wrote of her choice to attend the opening of the museum with her then 18-month-old son:

I’m out here today because children learn even when they’re just tagging along. They notice what meetings they’re being dragged to and where they’re being forced to wait around. They absorb the surroundings of their lives. They see what’s important to their parents. They learn what the values of the family are not by what is said but by what is lived, what is seen, what is felt. He will know. What I can’t teach him, he will learn from these museums. The questions we can’t answer, we will come here to explore. I hope these exhibits will become familiar spaces but never comfortable spaces. I hope they keep getting under his skin. I hope the questions keep prickling his legs like the Mississippi thicket at the edge of the cotton field. I hope the bravery he sees in his predecessors makes him believe he was built for brave choices, too.[xxxiii]

In these words, Gray anecdotally underlined what Ellsworth stated, “that learning is influenced by what can be absorbed by minds/brains as they exist within the sensate body moving through time and space, and interacting with social discourses.”[xxxiv] It is this power of transformation, this understanding that museums, when done well and done right, can translate the hard histories when our families, our schools, our communities are unable to that emphasizes the responsibilities museums have to specific communities of trauma. The measurement of success of museums that do so lies in their ability to transform visitors and enact cultural change. If our definition of museums is to change, then our rubric for what makes a museum successful must as well. If we as professionals take anything into the new decade it is the assurance that museums are not neutral, and as we look to enact and and measure social impact, it serves to study those museums already doing the work.


[i] “ICOM Museum Definition.”

[ii] “ICOM Museum Definition.”

[iii] Haley Barbour, “State of the State Address,” Jackson Free Press, January 11, 2011, para 63.

[iv] “About the Museum,” Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Accessed November 22, 2020.

[v] Timothy P. Brown, “Trauma, Museums and the Future of Pedagogy,” Third Text 18(2004): 258, accessed November 19, 2020, doi:10.1080/0952882042000229854.

[vi] Adam Northam, “Segregated classrooms in Mississippi aren’t a thing of the past. And parents play a role,” The Clarion Ledger, April 2, 2019, Accessed November 19, 2020; Ben Waldren, “Mississippi Officially Abolishes Slavery, Ratifies 13th Amendment,” ABC News, February 19, 2013, accessed November 19, 2020, ratifies-13th-amendment

[vii] “ICOM Museum Definition.”

[viii] Sierra Mannie, “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement,” The Hechinger Report, October 1, 2017, accessed November 19, 2020,

[ix] Kate Shuster, Teaching the Movement: The State Standards We Deserve (Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project 2012).

[x] Shuster, Teaching the Movement: The State Standards We Deserve.

[xi] Mannie, “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement.”

[xii] Mannie, “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement.”

[xiii] Mannie, “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement.”

[xiv] Mannie, “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement.”

[xv] Brown, “Trauma, Museums and the Future of Pedagogy.”

[xvi] Holland Cotter, “The New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Refuses to Sugarcoat History,” The New York Times, December 18, 2017, accessed November 20, 2020, museum-medgar-evers.html.

[xvii] Megan Boler, Feeling Power: Emotions and Education (New York: Routledge, 1999), 176.

[xviii] Boler, Feeling Power,180.

[xix] “Teaching Hard Histories,” Southern Poverty Law Center, January 31, 2018, accessed November 19, 2020.

[xx] Cotter, “The New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.”

[xxi] Cotter, “The New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.”

[xxii] Mannie, “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement.”

[xxiii] Deborah P. Britzman, Lost Subjects, Contested Objects: Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1998).

[xxiv] Britzman, Lost Subjects, 117.

[xxv] Britzman, Lost Subjects, 117.

[xxvi] “Standards for Museum Exhibitions,”

[xxvii] Barbara J. Soren, “Museum Experiences that Change Visitors,” Museum Management and Curatorship 24(2009): 233–251, accessed November 19, 2020. doi:10.1080/09647770903073060.

[xxviii] Brown, “Trauma, Museums and the Future of Pedagogy.”

[xxix] Shoshana Felman, “In an Era of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah,” Yale French Studies 97(2000):103–150, accessed November 18, 2020. doi: 10.2307/2903217.

[xxx] Avner Segall, “Making Difficult History Public: The Pedagogy of Remembering and Forgetting in Two Washington DC Museums,” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 36 (2014): 55–70.

[xxxi] Segall, “Making difficult history public.”

[xxxii] Cotter, “The New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.”

[xxxiii] Catherine Gray, “If My Son’s Going to Be From Mississippi,” The Bitter Southerner, 2018, accessed November 21, 2020,

[xxxiv] Elizabeth Ellsworth, Places of Learning, (New York: Routledge, 2005)


“About the Museum.” Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Accessed November 22, 2020.

Barbour, Haley. “State of the State Address.” Jackson Free Press, January 11, 2011. Accessed November 16, 2020. barbours-state-of-state-address/

Boler, Megan. Feeling Power: Emotions and Education. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Britzman, Deborah P. Lost Subjects, Contested Objects: Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1998.

Brown, Timothy P. “Trauma, Museums and the Future of Pedagogy.” Third Text 18(2004): 247-259. Accessed November 19, 2020. doi:10.1080/0952882042000229854.

Cotter, Holland. “The New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Refuses to Sugarcoat History.” The New York Times, December 18, 2017. Accessed November 20, 2020. museum-medgar-evers.html

Ellsworth, Elizabeth. Places of Learning. New York: Routledge, 2005. Accessed November 19, 2020.

Felman, Shoshana. “In an Era of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah.” Yale French Studies 97(2000):103-150. Accessed November 18, 2020. doi: 10.2307/2903217

Gray, Catherine. “If My Son’s Going to Be From Mississippi.” The Bitter Southerner, 2018. Accessed November 21, 2020.

“ICOM Museum Definition.” Accessed November 17, 2020. ICOM.

“History of ICOM.” Accessed November 17, 2020. us/history-of-icom/

Mannie, Sierra. “Why students are ignorant about the Civil Rights Movement.” The Hechinger Report, October 1, 2017. Accessed November 19, 2020.

Northam, Adam. “Segregated classrooms in Mississippi aren’t a thing of the past. And parents play a role.” The Clarion Ledger, April 2, 2019. Accessed November 19, 2020. classrooms-parental-request-policy-elementary-brookhaven/3291509002/

Pitt, A., & Britzman, D. “Speculations on qualities of difficult knowledge in teaching and learning: An experiment in psychoanalytic research.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 16(2003): 755-776. Accessed November 19, 2020. doi:10.1080/09518390310001632135

Segall, Avner. “Making Difficult History Public: The Pedagogy of Remembering and Forgetting in Two Washington DC Museums.” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 36 (2014): 55-70.

Shuster, Kate. Teaching the Movement: The State Standards We Deserve. Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project, 2012.

Soren, Barbara J. “Museum experiences that change visitors.” Museum Management and Curatorship 24(2009): 233-251. Accessed November 19, 2020. doi:10.1080/09647770903073060

“Standards for Museum Exhibitions and Indicators of Excellence.” Accessed November 20, 2020.

“Teaching Hard Histories.” Southern Poverty Law Center, January 31, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2020.

Waldren, Ben. “Mississippi Officially Abolishes Slavery, Ratifies 13th Amendment.” ABC News, February 19, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2020. ratifies-13th-amendment

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