Families reflect on non violence and peace during MLK Day at the Two MS Museums

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 7:40 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Two Mississippi Museums offered free admission. Hundreds from across the state visited the exhibits featuring the state’s history and civil rights struggle.

Dr. King’s peaceful quest for equal rights is what some families wanted to share with their children as they strolled through the galleries of the MS Civil Rights Museum Monday.

Images from slavery to the Civil Rights Era in Mississippi moved visitors during the special opening in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday. His message of peace and non-violence are not lost on the Cockrell family of Canton.

“We have to stop fighting each other,” said Demetrous Cockrell Jr.

The 23-year-old longs for the unity people had when the common goal was equality.

“I keep seeing young black men taking each other’s lives, and it is at a point now where we have to rally together because no one’s gonna stand up for us if we don’t stand up for ourselves,” said Cockrell.

“Take a look at our past and envision a future that is going to have a future where all of our children can leave home and come home in a safe and orderly fashion,” said the mother of Demetrous, Nicole Cockrell.

Two Museums Director Pamela Junior believes Dr. King, who was assassinated in 1968, would question record killings in the African American community.

“We lost his accomplishment and so what we have to do is get back to standing on our ancestors’ shoulders and what they were about, what they meant when they went to register to vote, what happened to them the lynchings,” said Junior.

The Jackson family from Clinton wanted their 11-year-old son to learn about segregation and how black people were united during the struggle for equal rights.

They said Dr. King’s message of peace should be remembered today.

“The violence now doesn’t really show his work and how he helped us get where we are now,” said sixth-grader Karlton Jackson.

His father Derrick and mother Shenika are making a return trip to the Civil Rights Museum.

“For the violence that’s going on now with black-on-black crime and different things of that nature, hopefully, he will get some kind of insight that’s positive for him,” said Derrick Jackson. “And he sees that violence is not always the way. the best way to try to conquer things is through peace”.

Federal Express sponsored the day of free admissions. The Museum also hosted the MLK Night of Culture: Those Who Stayed, which started at 6 p.m. More than 700 people attended last year’s free opening.

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