Miss-Lou Black History Parade to roll on President’s Day
Published 8:01 am Thursday, February 2, 2023
Celebrating Black genius, excellence and joy will be the theme of this year’s Miss-Lou Black History Parade.
The parade, organized by BlackNatchez.org, takes place at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20. Businesses, schools, churches, community groups, elected officials, candidates for office, and others from across the Miss-Lou region are invited to participate with entries that highlight areas of Black achievement, said Dr. Azalia Smith, one of the parade planners.
“We’re not just looking for nice cars and floats, which we all love to see. We want the parade to be a big lesson in black history for our young people,” Smith said.
The parade will start at the site of Forks of the Road, once the second largest slave market in the South, and proceed west on St. Catherine Street to the MLK Triangle.
“This route symbolizes the incredible progress of African descendants from enslavement to freedom and entrepreneurship,” said Joseph Smith, founder of BlackNatchez.org. “We’re extending invitations to people from counties and parishes across Miss-Lou that were part of the old Natchez District where Africans were enslaved.”
Dr. Smith says organizers have already received nearly two dozen entries from participants as far away as New Orleans. “I think people are excited about the opportunity to impact our young people. Teachers are thrilled, and parents are grateful to have a fun, educational activity for kids who are out of school that day,” she said.
Feb. 20 is also Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday, and local schools are closed.
The parade will conclude with a community block party featuring music, food, and local vendors. Vendors, food trucks, and others can sign up to join the vendor village for free at BlackNatchez.org.