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Monument of which to be proud

We are proud the City of Natchez is seeing the Proud to Take a Stand monument come to fruition.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell has been working throughout his tenure to bring the project to reality and workers began laying the foundation for the monument this week.

The monument will forever memorialize the names of civil rights era protestors who were wrongfully imprisoned in 1965 for marching in the streets of Natchez without a permit despite a city ordinance banning such marches.

The ordinance was later ruled to have been unconstitutional. The protestors were rounded up and held at the City Auditorium before being bused to the state penitentiary at Parchman where they were held for several days without benefit of trial.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the incident that has come to be known as the Parchman Ordeal, the City of Natchez adopted a formal apology in the form of a resolution entered in the city’s official record.

Now, Grennell has taken the issue further by raising funds and organizing a committee who worked diligently to identify all of the protestors who were wrongfully imprisoned.

Each of those individuals will have their names engraved on a granite stone monument that will be placed on the grounds of the City Auditorium that served as a makeshift holding cell before the protestors were bused to Parchman.

Grennell said he wants as many of the survivors as possible to be able to see the monument installed and that heightened his mission. It appears the monument will be in place for a ceremony by the October anniversary of the Parchman Ordeal.

The monument will forever honor those individuals who were proud to take a stand for civil rights at a time when the repercussions for taking such a stand were harsh.

Their courage helped expose the sickness of institutional racism that has over time turned their abusers into the scorned and the scorned into heroes.

And, that is something to be proud of.

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