Black history important to Natchez

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

In recent years, Natchez has made great strides in improving the awareness of the city’s rich black history.

More work remains, however, both with intentional efforts as well as the slow changes in attitude that only the passage of time will turn.

Just a few decades ago black history was not spoken much in Natchez; now it’s common.

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Eventually, the label of “black history” should morph into simply being a part of “our history,” reflecting that Natchez has reconciled with its racially divided past and are moving into the future as one, common community.

Despite progress, we are not there yet.

Efforts to bring the Forks of the Road former slave market site into the Natchez National Historical Park continue to grind forward.

Improvements are also being made to bring Natchez’s black history to tourists as well.

We’ve long said few, if any, other communities can offer a more complete glimpse of the history of black America than Natchez.

Natchez’s black story moves from slavery, through emancipation, into Reconstruction, past the Jim Crow Era and into modern time.

Natchez would not be what it is today without the contributions of its black residents.

And we are all wise to celebrate and embrace that, all year long, but particularly in February’s honoring black history month.