This was the episode that really got me.

As described on their website at, “Jackson’s strength as a destination lies within the city’s wealth of rich, collective experiences.

In Episode 2 of the City with Soul video documentary, Jackson native and nationally acclaimed comedian Rita Brent deftly guides all of us thru this authentic and culturally rich destination and offers a candid, up-close and personal look at the people, places and events that truly make Jackson the “City with Soul.”

The Gospel Music Epicenter

The episode starts off highlighting the thriving Gospel music scene free for the taking at dozens of fellowships across the city on any given Sunday. Talk about a bucket list item of things to do in Mississippi before you die. I really believe the joy and exuberance of a talented Southern Gospel choir is what heaven will sound like all day every day. But how many of us have taken Jackson up on this offer – literally free for the taking? Of course, if you want to pregame your visit to Jackson, I heartily recommend that you download music from Mississippi Mass Choir, the internationally award-winning Gospel choir operating under Jackson, Mississippi recording label, Malico.

Civil Rights History

After church, the documentary turns to food – and Farish Street is the destination: home of the original Big Apple Inn. Farish Street, often called Little Harlem, the largest intact African American historic district in the entire United States.

The doc goes on to tour the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, built in 1894 as the first public school for African American children in Jackson as well as the Medger Wiley Evers home and the now opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History.

To be honest, I am grossly disqualified to speak to Civil Rights history in Mississippi or elsewhere, but if you, like me, have questions and seek to be a good student and listener to history so as not to repeat it, I found this episode of the Jackson documentary to be the single best, authentic guide I’ve ever encountered in my 40+ years. The people and places featured provide a rich, eye-opening starting place to lead you in your own journey of understanding.

Mandatory Visit for All Americans

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

There is so much to learn, to see and to do – and most definitely to eat – in Jackson, Mississippi. That said, a tour of Jackson’s thoughtful, rich and comprehensive Civil Rights History education and landmarks make it a mandatory visit for all Americans.