• 73°

Celebrate black history of Miss-Lou

February is Black History Month and in honor of the month, The Natchez Democrat is featuring black history stories that highlight important African Americans and African American accomplishments from the Miss-Lou’s history.

Unfortunately, much of the local black history is not good, including regrettable events during the civil rights era and from the days of slavery.

Despite those unfortunate eras, however, heroes emerged, for instance the people who are featured on the Proud to Take a Stand monument that was recently installed on the grounds of the Natchez City Auditorium.

The monument honors those who took to the streets in protest when the city was imposing unconstitutional restrictions on their rights to peacefully assemble.

For that they were locked in the city jail and people who would not fit in the jail were locked in the Natchez City Auditorium before many of them were transported to the state penitentiary at Parchman where they were imprisoned without due process and were mistreated and abused.

Days later they were released and the city ordinance prohibiting marching in the streets was later ruled unconstitutional.

Now more than 50 years later those protestors are honored with the monument that bears their names for taking a stand when it mattered.

Today, the Miss-Lou and the nation have made much progress in race relations partly because of the heroic efforts of folks who were proud to take a stand and many black residents have gone on to great positions of leadership and great accomplishments.

We are proud of the Black history in the Miss-Lou and hope you enjoy reading about some of those stories today.