Ayer Hall open house to unveil Breach of Peace: Portraits of the1961 Freedom Riders and the Rabbi Philip Posner collection


September 1, 2011

(JACKSON, Miss.) — The Margaret Walker Center will unveil some important pieces from the Civil Rights Movement during an open house at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the historic Ayer Hall on the campus of Jackson State University, 1400 John R. Lynch St., Jackson. The highlight of the open house will be the unveiling of Breach of Peace: Portraits of the1961 Freedom Riders, an exhibit of 329 mounted mug shots of Freedom Riders from the Sovereignty Commission files of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The exhibition was previously mounted at the Mississippi Museum of Art and has been deposited by the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation at the Margaret Walker Center until it is transferred to the new state civil rights museum in Jackson. In May of 1961, civil rights activists from Mississippi and across the country descended on Jackson in an effort to desegregate the city’s public transportation facilities. The Freedom Riders bravely faced the brutality of Jim Crow and ultimately pushed the federal government to enforce the desegregation of these facilities. “These photographs represent the state-sanctioned efforts to deny the rights of African Americans,but they also reveal a remarkable dignity in their subjects,” said Robert Luckett, Margaret Walker Center director. “The faces of the Freedom Riders, as seen in these mug shots, show a fierce courage and determination. We are proud to display them at Jackson State.” The opening of the Rabbi Philip Posner Manuscript Collection will also take place during the open house. Posner was one of the 1961 Freedom Riders, and the Posner Collection includes letters to his parents from Parchman Penitentiary and other documentation of his lifelong work as a civil rights activist. The Margaret Walker Center will be joined in hosting the Open House by its partners at Jackson State: the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. – JSU – About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of the state of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit http://www.jsums.edu.

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