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The Viewfinder: Southern Road to Freedom tells area history in song

 

NATCHEZ — The Southern Road to Freedom choir uses music to tell the story of the black history in Natchez.

The program’s narrator Charles Harris said the songs performed are intended to take audiences from the past into the future.

Dressed in traditional African attire, singers begin the performance with sorrowful and reminiscent songs of Africans being taken into slavery and the songs evolve into more joyful music.

In between the musical performances are vignettes of prominent black Natchezians.

“Now if you look around town black history is being included in all programs around the city whereas 15 to 20 years ago you would have never seen that,” Harris said.

Natchez’s history, Harris said, is full of important black men and women he is still learning about.

“Times have changed,” Harris said. “It’s very important, and it’s important to pilgrimage and the community now to know and understand that blacks had a prominent role.”

The Southern Road to freedom performances will continue at 8 p.m. today, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 16 Orange Ave, Natchez. Tickets are $15.