Named for successful barber Smith Robertson, Jackson’s first African American alderman, this 1894 structure was renovated in the late 1920s and was Jackson’s first public school for African Americans. The school was closed in 1971 during public school desegregation. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and reopened through the efforts of Dr. Jessie Mosley and Dr. Alferdteen Harrison in 1984 as a museum to interpret the history of African American Mississippians. Its collection includes artifacts related to civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Aaron Henry, James Meredith, Mrs. Clarie Collins Harvey, and others. The African American author Richard Wright (1908-1960), who wrote Native Son and Black Boy, attended Smith Robertson School from 1923 to 1925.
Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center is dedicated to increasing public understanding and awareness of the historical experiences and cultural expressions of people of African descent. Annual events include “The Taste of African American Art, Music and Cuisine” and “The Festival of Christmas Trees”.
“Civil Rights Driving Tour of Hinds County”produced by the Associated Press, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Development Authority (Tourism Division).