From reading other reviews, it seems your experience at the Museum depends upon your tour guide. It's unfortunate that the impact of seeing some of the more overt examples of Jim Crow can be so variable. My spouse and I were in a tour and our guide appeared to be reciting her script and wasn't able to speak to many of the questions that came up. However, having been in Greensboro during segregation and remembering the sit ins, I knew that there was much more that could be said. Perhaps the Museum needs to allow more time in their tours!
Nonetheless, this is an important American experience particularly for young folks who have no idea of the cultural extent of the legal marginalization of blacks back then. But even older whites can be astounded by what they never saw or heard about and yet was simply matter of fact for blacks. It's way more than the lunch counter, although that is pretty impressive. You'll have much to remember and talk about for a while after visiting.
As for the admissions cost, the history of establishing this Museum is fraught with political bickering and the City was slow, very slow, very very slow to see its importance and value, and to provide support. Funding is an ongoing issue, so admissions are vital to keep this going.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.