City of Natchez to host inaugural Heroes in Black History event

Published 6:16 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

The City of Natchez proudly announces the inauguration of the first annual “Heroes of Black History” event aims to highlight the significant contributions of individuals from the past and the achievements of present-day citizens their contributions have influenced. This event is designed to become a staple of February Black History Month commemorations.

Each year, the “Heroes of Black History” event will feature one of four fields of accomplishment:

  • Arts and Athletics
  • Entertainment
  • Church and Community Service
  • Education and Cultural Heritage
  • Leadership and Politics

The documentation of those honored will be given to NAPAC for the permanent collection.

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“Our mission is to shed light on remarkable Natchezians and the influence their collective journeys made and make on the future of our community and nation,” said Mayor Dan M. Gibson. “Among the illustrious figures celebrated this year are early activists Hiram R. Revels and John R. Lynch, whose legacies resonate through the pages of history. The ceremony will also pay homage to Civil Rights trailblazers and the activism of the secret Black Dot Club, whose pivotal role in supporting the Freedom Riders, efforts continues to inspire us today.”

The original Black Dot members included Radford Battiste, the only living member, and the late Jonathan W. Grennell Jr.

Also recognized will be Grennell Jr.’s nephew, Sen. Robert L. Johnson III and son, former Natchez Mayor, Darryl W. Grennell, both of whom exemplify the continuity of commitment and service that has always defined the community.

The inaugural “Heroes of Black History” event will take place Feb. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the American Museum of African-American History and Culture (NAPAC).

The museum is located at 301 Main St. All community members are invited to join in commemorating these important stories.

The City of Natchez is honored to play a role in connecting past accomplishments to those of our current times to help ensure these vital narratives remain alive for generations to come.