Don’t reward inequality just yet
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Hold the award for Natchez’s federal courthouse preservation until equal history commemoration goes up out front on its walls.
Before the Jim Crow-era old building was rescued by converting it to a federal courthouse with tax dollars also paid by African Americans, there were several panels affixed to the outside walls.
These panels lists the names of Adams County’s European descent soldiers who fought in World War II, if I recall correctly. There are no African Americans soldiers names on those panels, if I recall correctly.
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I have requested that names of African American soldiers of the time be listed on a panel placed on the outside walls of the federal courthouse. I did so about the time in the past when the building was being turned into a courthouse.
The response I receive was something like this — “I can’t figure out where such panel would go on the courthouse.”
I have looked at the front walls of that courthouse and a panel listing African American soldiers of that time could fit on the right side of the courthouse as you stand facing it. I had hoped someone else in Natchez would have taken up this issue of equal history commemorations at the federal courthouse. I have enough work on my hands fighting for equal history commemorations in Natchez and elsewhere. Those who control history information decide what is or what is not commemorated.
“Each initiative toward making public history in Natchez more racially inclusive represents another victory of the African American experience and history itself. Neither will come without a struggle,” from Professor Jack Davis’s book “Race Against Time Culture Separation in Natchez Since 1930” (p. 280)
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