Founded as the Institute for the Study of the History, Life, and Culture of Black People by Margaret Walker in 1968, the Center seeks to honor her academic, artistic, and activist legacy through its archival collections, exhibits, and public programs.
Open to the public, the Center houses significant records like the papers of the late Margaret Walker; those of the former U.S. Secretary of Education, Roderick Paige; and an oral history department that includes nearly 1000 interviews. It also offers museum and exhibit spaces that highlight the Center’s collections and the history of Jackson State University.
The Margaret Walker Center continues to collect living memories, archival records, and personal papers for scholarly use; advocates the preservation of the built environment such as historic 1903 Ayer Hall, which is the oldest structure on the Jackson State University campus and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977; engages the community through public programs, literacy projects, and educational workshops; and works with other JSU departments across the campus.
The COFO Civil Rights Education Center is also a part of the Margaret Walker Center’s portfolio of programming. The COFO building was the state headquarters for the umbrella civil rights group, the Council of Federated Organizations, which operated the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project from this site in 1964. The COFO Center is available for tours and group meetings.
Please visit the Margaret Walker Center any time. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and cultural and fiscal contributions. Contact us at your convenience about the possibility of depositing your personal records at Jackson State and about the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions and repositories.
Margaret Walker Center Hours:
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Margaret Walker Center
College of Liberal Arts
Jackson State University
1400 J.R. Lynch Street
P.O. Box 17008
Jackson, MS 39217