In the 1950s and ’60s, segregationist whites waved Confederate flags and slapped defiant bumper stickers on cars declaring Mississippi “the most lied about state in the Union.”
Those were ways of defiantly pushing back against African-Americans who dared challenge racial oppression, and taking a jab at journalists covering the civil rights movement.
Decades later, as Mississippi marks its bicentennial, the state is getting an unflinching look at its complex, often brutal past in two history museums, complete with displays of slave chains, Ku Klux Klan robes and graphic photos of lynchings and firebombings.
The Museum of Mississippi History takes a 15,000-year view, from the Stone Age through modern times. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum concentrates on a shorter, but intense span, from 1945 to 1976.
They open Saturday, the day before the 200th anniversary of Mississippi becoming the 20th state.
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