New historic markers unveiled to tell whole story of Natchez, honor contributions of African Americans

Published 6:20 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

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More than 130 people filled the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture Wednesday afternoon to honor and celebrate 27 African American sites in Natchez that have been vital in telling the complete history of the city.

On the first day of Black History month,  the markers were unveiled in a ceremony that was filled with a spirit of reverence and celebration. 

As the name of each monument was called, a representative connected to each historic place displayed a bronze square plaque. To be installed for public viewing outside each attraction, each plaque has a unique QR code that passersby can use to find out more information about each historic site.

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 The event was spearheaded by Mayor Dan Gibson and the museum’s executive director, Bobby Dennis, as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to Natchez’s history.

 The markers, said Dennis, will give visitors a self-guided tour of local African American history.

 Gibson said the markers will play a vital role in telling the complete history of the city. “Following through with the commitment I made when I began my term as Mayor of Natchez, ‘to tell the whole story’, it brings me great joy to finally be able to recognize with signage these important historic sites,” Gibson said.

He noted the sites and stories are “so significant to both the African American history of our city and our overall history.”

Gibson recognized the Natchez Association for the Preservation of African American Culture (NAPAC), Visit Natchez, the Natchez Historic Foundation and others who have been instrumental in the project.

The sites that were honored Wednesday are:

  • The Dr. John Banks House
  • Brumfield School
  • Forks of The Roads
  • Proud to Take a Stand Monument
  • Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church
  • The William Johnson House
  • The Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum
  • The Angelety House
  • Richard Wright’s Grandmother’s House
  • Robert Smith House
  • Black Business District
  • Henry J. and Ida Page Dumas House
  • Holy Family Catholic Church
  • Watkins Street Cemetery
  • The Sidney and Sarah Russell House
  • The Claiborne Barland House
  • Mazique-West House
  • Concord Quarters
  • Leon Donnan’s Barber Shop
  • Mackel’s Funeral Home
  • Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church
  • The Bud Scott House
  • Professor Samuel Owens Home
  • St. John’s United Methodist Church
  • The Louis Winston Home
  • Natchez College
  • Beulah Missionary Baptist Church