Alcorn celebrates Black History Month with program on Natchez U.S. Colored Troops

Published 7:39 am Monday, March 14, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Southwest Mississippi Center for Culture and Learning at Alcorn State University celebrated Black History Month with members of the Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument Committee.

The school presented a program titled, “From Slavery to Freedom: The Story of the Natchez U.S. Colored Troops,” that focused on the legacy of the U.S. Colored Troops and the efforts to honor them with a monument. The event was held on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in the Biotechnology Auditorium on the Lorman Campus.

“This is part of our history, an important story that needs to be told, of great bravery, resilience, and the desire of all people to be free,” said Teresa Busby, the Center’s executive director, who organized the event.

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Participants in the program included Robert Pernell, chairman of the Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument Committee; Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson; Barney Schoby, U.S. Park Ranger and graduate of ASU; and Deborah Fountain, a genealogist and researcher who chairs the History and Research Subcommittee for the Natchez USCT Monument Committee.

“It was an honor to host Mr. Pernell, Mrs. Fountain, Mayor Gibson and Mr. Schoby,” Busby said.

Pernell said the program was well-received by the students, staff and faculty. “Everyone seemed to enjoy it,” he said. “We were happy to have this opportunity to speak about an important project that will have a lasting impact on our community and future generations. We’re grateful to Ms. Busby for making this event possible.”

The Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument Committee was created to erect a monument to honor and bear the names of more than 3,000 African American men who served with the U.S. Colored Troops at Fort McPherson in Natchez, as well as those who served in the Navy who were born in Natchez. The monument will honor those who served with six regiments, which included: 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, 58th U.S. Colored Infantry, 70th U.S. Colored Infantry, 71st U.S. Colored Infantry, 63rd U.S. Colored Infantry, and the 64th U.S. Colored Infantry.

For more information on the Natchez USCT, visit