Reenactment worth local attention

Published 12:02am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Play to your strengths. Any good coach will tell you that’s a key to a successful, winning team.

The logic applies to nearly all endeavors in life. Natchez has a history of playing to its strengths, too.

Geographically, Natchez’s early strength was its location high on the bluffs, safe from the Mississippi River’s floods, but close enough to utilize the river.

Eighty years ago, a group of smart Natchez women realized that rain might scare people away from their garden tours, but they had strengths inside their beautiful houses. Thus Natchez’s world-famous Pilgrimage began.

Last weekend, another great Natchez strength was highlighted, though it has less fame than the others. We’re referring to the amazing black history that is evident all around us.

A segment of that history was portrayed Saturday during the annual Black and Blue Civil War Living History Camp, featuring reenactors who portrayed blacks who joined the Union Army during the Civil War.

The event also hosted another piece of local black history. A descendant of the famous “Prince Among Slaves” was in Natchez, bringing more attention to the amazing story of his seventh-generation great-grandfather who was enslaved in Natchez and later discovered to be an African prince.

Our area also features the site of one of the largest slave markets in the South and historic tourist locations nearby provide historically accurate pictures of what life was like for enslaved blacks.

All of this is important black history and important American history, and if we play to our strengths, we will give this history equal prominence to all of our area’s history.