Great Migration Initiative

Take an in-depth look at the Great Migration—the unprecedented movement of African Americans from the South in the first three-quarters of the twentieth century—through the lenses of history and art. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) and the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) are undertaking a year-long initiative in 2022 to expand understanding of the Great Migration and its impact on Mississippi and the nation.

MDAH is offering fellowships to people who want to research their family’s connection to Mississippi at the state archives, gathering oral histories, and holding a series of public programs on genealogy, preservation of important papers and images, and the history of the Great Migration. 

MMA will open the exhibition, A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, in April 2022. It will then travel to Baltimore to begin a nationwide tour. Organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art, the exhibition will present newly commissioned work by twelve of the nation’s foremost visual artists who have been asked to reflect on their own personal and familial connections to the Great Migration. 

Great Migration Programs and Opportunities 

The Negro Motorist Green Book Exhibit (July 2-September 25)

The exhibit highlights the history of The Green Book, an annual guide created in 1936 by Harlem postman Victor Green that helped Black Americans travel the country with dignity by listing facilities that welcomed them during the era of segregation. Distributed nationwide until 1967, The Green Book provided travelers with information on restaurants, gas stations, department stores and other businesses that were black-owned or served black travelers. The Negro Motorist Green Book, is an exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian, Candacy Taylor.

Teacher Institute

Offered in Jackson by MDAH and MMA, this week-long institute will engage teachers in the exploration of the Great Migration-related special exhibitions and time period, as well as ideas about public memory, self-determination, and resilience. Teachers will use primary resources—both historical and artistic— to develop curriculum to use with their students. Teachers from Mississippi, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and other cities where Mississippians settled during the Great Migration will receive priority. Applications are now closed.


Beginning Genealogy Workshop

Just getting started in genealogical research? Come to the Beginning Genealogy Workshop presented by Andrew McNulty at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Created for individuals beginning their family history search, the program will include a quick overview of genealogy, steps participants can take home to begin their research, sample questions to ask family members to get more information to aid their search, and an overview of some of MDAH’s resources in its archival collections. 

This program is free and open to the public. Space is limited. For more information, contact 601-576-6850 or email


MDAH will also offer a series of public programs on genealogy, preservation of family papers and images, and the history of the Great Migration beginning in February 2022. 


Be part of history. Volunteer with MDAH and help us preserve and connect Mississippi’s rich historic resources with people around the world.