Laurel’s black history museum finally gets a permanent home

An important part of local and cultural history is one step closer to being preserved in Jones County.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - An important part of local and cultural history is one step closer to being preserved in Jones County.

The Laurel-Jones County Black History Museum and Arts Exhibit now has a permanent home at 820 West Fifth Street in Laurel.

The building that will house the museum and gallery has been vacant for a few years. Museum Founder Marian Allen said it would make a good home for the previously mobile museum.

“Let you see that it’s the future home of the Laurel Black History Museum, and these are one of my exhibits,” she said.

Allen established the museum in 2019 and began setting-up mobile exhibits in available spaces around the Pine Belt.

“We’ve traveled to schools,” said Allen. “We’ve traveled to churches with the African-American exhibits, and I’m just so pleased and honored to know that, finally, the museum has a home.”

The building has several rooms, and Allen said she has plans for all of them.

“When I’m done with this upstairs, I want to have youth programs,” said Allen. “And upstairs, I want to have a library, a computer room. I want to have an arts and crafts room and just a general room so that children can do their homework.”

There is a lot of work to do before the museum can open to the public. However, someone has already given Allen advice on how to make it happen.

“He said, ‘Do you know how to eat an elephant?’” said Allen. “I said, ‘Yeah, you eat it one bite at a time.’ He said, ‘That’s right. You eat it one bit at a time.’”

She said that her first step towards opening is finding volunteers. So, she’s calling on anyone to help however they can.

“So, you can mail donations to the address,” said Allen. “You can send a bucket of paint for me. Just call me. I’m looking for volunteers to help me bring this edifice back to its beauty.”

Allen hopes to have the exhibit opened by February 2023.

Anyone looking to help can give Allen a call at 601-323-9418 or send an email:

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