Black History Month in Laurel kicked off with the opening of a new local museum headed by Marian Allen. On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, Allen and the Jones County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Laurel/ Jones County Black History Museum and Arts facility at 820 West 5th Street.
The event began at 10 a.m. with an opening and prayer by Dr. Eleanor Collins who spoke on the importance of communities coming together in one accord. Guests were welcomed by museum curator Marian Allen who has long dreamed of bringing her collection of artwork and historical artifacts to a permanent location. She was followed by the Laurel High School Choir who presented several selections.
Former Jones County Sheriff and current candidate Alex Hodge and museum board member Derrion Arrington provided their remarks. The event’s keynote speaker, John K. Pierre, Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge spoke about the central role of the state of Mississippi in the struggle for civil rights.
Allen thanked everyone for their support and cut the ribbon officially opening the new museum.