Getting the flavor of...
Mississippi’s sobering new museum
The just-opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum wants to make you uncomfortable, said Sierra Mannie in the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger. Housed in a downtown Jackson complex that’s also home to the new Museum of Mississippi History, the institution unearths and displays the bloody truth about the state’s racist past—a reality the state’s other museums and even its school system have long downplayed. The thousands of artifacts go far beyond events of the 1960s: You’ll see 19th-century posters advertising slaves for sale, robes and masks worn by Ku Klux Klan members, and a re-creation of a segregated classroom from 1954. “For me, the most emotionally pummeling section of the Civil Rights Museum was dedicated to Jim Crow.” There, a gnarled, ceiling-high tree stands next to panels emblazoned with the names of hundreds of black people known to have been killed by lynch mobs. “The museum is still collecting names.”
America’s ‘most exciting city’
Not so long ago, downtown Detroit was anything but a must-see destination, said Reif Larsen in The New York Times. I remember visiting in 2001 and being unnerved by its empty streets and decaying buildings. “It felt like the beginning of an apocalypse movie.” Then in 2013 Detroit declared bankruptcy, sealing its reputation as the ultimate failed city. But Motor City’s downtown corridor has revved back to life since Quicken Loans moved its massive headquarters there in 2010. A new Q-Line streetcar now whispers past on Woodward Avenue, while young crowds dine at Gather, a communal-table restaurant. “You can see the city materialize before your eyes. It’s like watching hot lava cool.” Activists, artists, and small-business owners spearheaded the regeneration effort, making the city livable again with initiatives like RecoveryPark—an urban farm that transforms abandoned lots into agricultural plots. “In Detroit, the future is still being written.”