Visit Natchez hires cultural heritage manager

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 29, 2021

NATCHEZ — Roscoe Barnes III has joined Visit Natchez as its new Cultural Heritage Tourism Manager.

Barnes’s official start date was May 24, according to a news release from Visit Natchez.

Working under the direction of Visit Natchez’s Executive Director Devin Heath, Barnes will be responsible for encouraging, enhancing, developing and expanding heritage tourism in Natchez.

In this new role, Barnes would work to positively impact the economic and social growth of Natchez. He would also work to push contributions to a more diverse and shared story that authentically represents the stories and people of the destination from past and present.

“This is a very important role in today’s cultural climate, and we felt it was necessary to create this position for our destination,” Heath said. “Roscoe brings a wealth of experience and a diverse background, and we’re sure he will positively impact Visit Natchez in many ways.”

Most recently, Barnes was the Public Information Officer at Wilkinson County Correction Facility in nearby Woodville, where he also served as the facility’s chaplain since 2013.

Barnes has worked with various community organizations, in public relations and as a journalist throughout his career. In 2010 Barnes received a Ph.D. in Church History and Polity from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and he is also a published author.

“I am honored to start this new role and join Devin Heath’s team at Visit Natchez,” Barnes said. “I am looking forward to utilizing my unique background to positively impact this amazing destination and promote the heritage tourism that you can only find in Natchez.”

He likes history because there is always something you can learn from it. He wants to use it as a tool to help people understand the past.

On one visit to Natchez, Barnes stopped by the Forks in the Road, where a gentleman from Rev Country tours was giving a tour.

“He started talking, and then he showed us on the ground pieces of iron cuffs shackles and chains and he said those are not replicas, I just knelt down and placed my hand on those shackles,” Barnes said. “It resonated with me, it was sunny and warm but when I touched the metal, I felt a chill. It was so moving. Who knew it was here in Natchez. Now, to be in a possession where I can talk to people about history and the past it is an honor, a privilege and a blessing.”

More information about Natchez can be found at www.visitnatchez.org or by calling 800-647-6724.