Minorville area residents share sense of unity

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 30, 2000

Minorville residents showed a &uot;sign of unity&uot; Saturday as they celebrated the ninth annual Minorville Jubilee festival in the historic Natchez neighborhood.

At first glance, the day-long event was a chance to hear the Alvin Shelby and the Adams County Mass Choir and soloists, then adjourn for food and activities, from face painting and &uot;moon walk&uot; rides for children to dominoes and card games for adults.

And that was certainly part of it, with more than 300 people expected to attend the festival throughout the day, said event Co-Coordinator Burnett Bridgewater.

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But for those who attended a Unity March Saturday morning to begin the Jubilee, the event was perhaps more important for its symbolism.

&uot;A lot of times, Minorville is seen as a drug-infested, crime-infested neighborhood,&uot;&160;said resident Carolyn Smith. &uot;This is our way of taking it back. It’s a sign of unity.&uot;

&uot;Why are we here?&160;Because this is her heritage,&uot; said Mandy Smith, who escorted daughter Glennese Smith and granddaughter Lexus Smith, this year’s Little Miss Minorville, to the festival. Lexus Smith’s great-grandfather, Henry Lee Smith, served as this year’s Mr. Minorville.

And seeing good friends is a major reason Jessie Henderson Martin, Mrs. Minorville, has attended the Jubilee every year since its inception. &uot;It’s just nice to get together to laugh and talk,&uot;&160;Martin said as people greeted each other with warm hugs and handshakes.

Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West said the festival calls attention to what was once a thriving neighborhood with successful businesses. &uot;This serves as a homecoming for many people,&uot;&160;he said.

And both Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith and Alderman James &uot;Ricky&uot; Gray said other neighborhoods need to follow Minorville’s lead by having community pride events of their own. &uot;Lot of folks coming together to have fun and show pride in their neighborhood, showing each other they care about each other, celebrating unity and cooperation – we need more of that,&uot; Smith said.

&uot;Togetherness and unity is lacking in Natchez,&uot;&160;Gray added. &uot;We need a jubilee all over this city.&uot;