A once in a lifetime opportunity awaits you inside the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. Located a stone's throw from the State Capitol building, it's just within walking distance of principal businesses and attractions in downtown Jackson. Through art, artifacts, and photography, the work, lifestyle, and artistic contributions of African Americans are celebrated, evoking a greater understanding of the African-American experience in the Deep South.
The museum is housed in the former Smith Robertson School, the first public school built for African Americans in Jackson. The school opened in 1894 and served the African-American community until 1971. The original building was a two-story wood structure that burned in 1909. A brick structure was erected by a local African-American contractor to replace the school that same year. In 1929, the prominent architectural firm Hull and Mulvaney enlarged the building and enhanced it with its Art Deco facade. The school was named for Mr. Smith Robertson, who was born a slave in Fayette, Alabama, in 1847. After the Civil War, he migrated to Jackson where he operated a successful barbering business. He was also in local politics and became the first African-American Alderman in the City of Jackson.