TODAY: Non-profit hosts Black History Month parade to inspire youth

Published 1:50 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Don’t miss out, as 3 p.m. today a Black History Month parade will begin through Downtwon Natchez.

Black History Month may be about honoring those from the past who made a difference in the world, but a local non-profit is encouraging young people to join in a Black History Month parade and learn something new about themselves in the process.

Joseph A.C. Smith, the founder of, said the parade celebrating Black History starts at 3 p.m. at 150 East Franklin St.

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The parade will begin at the site of Forks of the Road — once the second largest slave market in the South — and will proceed for one mile heading west on Saint Catherine Street to the MLK Triangle, once the hub for Natchez’s thriving Black business district.

The entire championship-winning football team at Robert Lewis Middle School will be honored as grand marshals, Smith said.

“We wanted to have young people grand marshal our parade and hope they will be inspired,” he said. “This is an opportunity to see people from all groups come together for a good time. School is closed that day and it’s great to have an activity rooted in a great focus. It’s also a quasi-educational opportunity for young people to engage in.”

Smith continued, “We are focused on helping people to realize their God-given genius and creativity for impact and helping our young people to realize the genius within them by telling them the stories of people in Natchez who had genius ideas and even today use their genius to impact the world.”

Smith said Devereux Drive and Saint Catherine Street will close for the parade at 3 p.m. Monday, encouraging those traveling at that time to use a different route. Parking on Saint Catherine Street will also be restricted from 1 p.m. until after the parade.

Founded in 2021, strives to preserve and share the culture and history of African Americans in Southwest Mississippi through community development, educational programs, and preserving historic sites and points of interest.

Learn more about this group at