• 52°

Hundreds view Wharlest Jackson documentary

NATCHEZ — Hundreds of community members gathered at Natchez City Auditorium Tuesday for the screening of a documentary that brought to light a case gone cold.

The story of Wharlest Jackson was told by Louisiana filmmaker Keith Beauchamp and the Investigation Discovery channel’s program The Injustice Files with the intention of finding and prosecuting those involved with his murder.

No one was ever arrested for the 1967 car bombing that killed the civil rights leader shortly after he had taken a promotion to a “whites only” job.

“It’s a blessing, all of this coming out,” said Debra Jackson Sylvester, daughter of Wharlest Jackson. “Especially for young people to see the struggle. We as black people have suffered a long time. Unity, and coming together as a people, is what my mother and father stood for.”

Thank you for honoring my father tonight, Wharlest Jackson Jr. said to the audience.

“We are examining a man’s life tonight,” Jackson said. “A man who stood for family, jobs, voting and the rights we now enjoy.”

Jackson’s daughter Denise Jackson Ford thanked Beauchamp for following up on the case that has been closed and reopened three times.

“This man has a calling on him,” Ford said. “It takes a special calling to do the work he’s doing.”

Beauchamp said he could not be passive when he had the opportunity to make Jackson’s story known to the world.

“Many of us hear about social problems, but some of us have to act,” Beauchamp said. “Filmmaking is my way to give justice and closure to the family. That’s what I want, and I hope you can participate in that process.”

After the screening, Beauchamp opened the floor for audience questions and comments.

Adams County Board of Supervisors Board President Darryl Grennell stood and thanked Beauchamp for making the documentary.

“I was 2 years old when this occurred,” Grennell said. “I remember people around me talking about it all the time, and it was chilling.”

Grennell said his father replaced Jackson in the local NAACP chapter after his murder. With his colleagues, Grennell raised money for a state marker, which is on order and will be delivered soon.

“Growing up, my whole life, my mother told stories of heroes in Natchez and the struggles in the city,” said Carlos Evers, son of Mississippi Rights Leader Charles Evers.

Scores of young people attended the screening with Natchez High School teacher Creseda Crawford, who said she was proud of her students for coming.

“As young people, always know you can be a freedom conductor to spark change in your own way,” Beauchamp said.

Director of the Natchez cultural heritage tourism and Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture Darrell White said the good turnout was a testament to the community’s yearning for knowledge and closure to some tragic chapters of the town’s history.

“Collectively those in attendance will be better prepared to assist in moving the community forward,” White said.

A memorial for Jackson will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at 9 Minor St., near Martin Luther King Jr. Road, the location where he was murdered exactly 44 years ago.

News

Jackson State band to perform in Biden inauguration event

COVID-19

Bailey appointed interim tax collector until November special election

News

Supervisors reappoint Phillip West to Natchez school board

News

Harbor Freight showing job listings for new Natchez location

COVID-19

Coroner: Two more people died with COVID-19 Sunday at Merit Health Natchez

News

CPSO deputy finds his dog shot in his backyard

News

Missing teen found

News

Former Natchez Mayor Butch Brown off of ventilator in Jackson ICU

COVID-19

State reports 1,606 new COVID cases and 40 new COVID related deaths

News

Natchez native pens third installment of murder series

News

Photo Gallery: ACCS student celebrates birthday with drive-thru party

COVID-19

State reports 2,680 new COVID-19 cases, 70 new COVID related deaths

News

Wreck on St. Catherine Street takes out pole

News

Merit Health nurse of 23 years dies with COVID-19 complications

News

Girl Scout cookie time is here for Adams County

News

Brookhaven woman linked to over 15 ounces meth arrested in Adams County

News

Concordia Parish deputies uncover 14 stolen firearms after traffic stop

COVID-19

State reports 1,948 new COVID-19 cases, 41 new deaths amid vaccine shortage

COVID-19

State experiencing surge in patients attempting COVID-19 vaccination

News

Movie filmed in Natchez hits screens Feb. 12

News

Three finalists chosen for Executive Director in Natchez tourism commission

News

Kevin Warren named publisher in Natchez, Brookhaven, Prentiss

News

Girl Scout cookie season kicks off nationally Feb. 1

News

City of Natchez nearing lease agreement for old train depot