Documentary premiere screening set for April 18 at African American History museum

Published 7:56 am Monday, April 4, 2022

NATCHEZ — A short film documenting African influences on Mississippi River communities will be shown at the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture at 6 p.m. Monday, April 18, 2022. The event, which is free to the public, is part of a docuseries that will feature five episodes with a focus on New Orleans, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge, Natchez, and Gambia, West Africa.

The film series is titled, “Africans on the Mississippi – Cuttin’ Cane.” It was created and produced by Spencer Howard of LearningTree Productions LLC in association with the River Road African American Museum.

The first episode, scheduled for April, will feature New Orleans. Natchez will appear in Episode 4. A panel discussion will follow the screening.

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“Natchez holds the distinction of being the oldest city on the Mississippi River and [having the] largest market for the buying and selling of stolen people known as ‘Forks of the Road,’” Howard stated on his website. “The story of Natchez, Mississippi is a story that longs to be told as ‘Africans on the Mississippi’ again takes the viewer straight through to the thing itself.”

Bobby Dennis, executive of the Museum, said the film will prove to be enlightening. “This film will give us a little bit more of the complete stories of the African Americans involved in the development of our area from New Orleans to Natchez,” he said.

According to Howard, the film “speaks of unspoken ancestry.” He said it has been lauded for its storyline, location, visuals, music, sound and exceptional editing. It has been selected for screenings at eight film festivals. So far, he said, the film has won the IndieFEST Film Award and Best Web Series/TV Pilot by the Indie Short Fest Film Festival.

Dennis said the screening was sponsored in part by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.

“The plantations are long gone but the descendants remain with fascinating stories to tell,” said Howard.

For more information, call Bobby Dennis at 601-445-0728, or visit