Amanda Jones, Director of Family and Youth Opportunities, is coordinating a movement in Clarksdale to renovate the old Myrtle Hall School Library and turn it into the Myrtle Hall Library for Negroes Museum. The renovation began July 1 and the library is tentatively scheduled to open May 4, 2019.
“We want to do this for Clarksdale,” Jones says. “People are always asking what Clarksdale is doing to better itself; we think this museum will represent part of the answer to that question.”
Jones says Coahoma County has committed to pay $10,000 to help fund a matching grant to cover the first phase of renovation costs for the project. They have given $5,000 with another $5,000 to come. The group has asked the City of Clarksdale to do the same. Additional grants are being sought. She urges all who are interested in the project to go to Gofundme.com/MyrtleHall LibraryforNegroes.
Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy says the city would work to include the Museum in the fiscal year budget, which the Mayor and Board of Commissioners are currently finalizing.
The museum will be housed in the original Myrtle Hall Library for Negroes, which was recently Mississippi’s latest addition to the National Register of Historic Places and is located on State Street just to the East of the Highway 61-49 Crossroads.