Natchez Approved for Mississippi Freedom Trail

Natchez Approved for Mississippi Freedom Trail

Historical marker to be posted at
Dr. John Banks House, the former NAACP HQ

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Dr. John Banks House, which once served as the headquarters for the Natchez NAACP, will be the first site of a Mississippi Freedom Trail marker in Natchez. Approval of the designation by the Mississippi Humanities Council and Visit Mississippi, means the city will now be listed on the state’s Freedom Trail and the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

News of the historic landmark recognition was announced recently by Dr. Stuart Rockoff, executive director of MHC. In an email dated May 23, 2022, he wrote: “I’m pleased to share the news that the Freedom Trail Scholars Committee has approved your application to place a marker at the Banks House in Natchez.”

Plans are underway for a dedication and unveiling ceremony later this year.

Devin Heath, executive director of Visit Natchez, said Natchez’s listing on the Freedom Trail highlights the important role the city played in the civil rights movement. “It is also an opportunity to honor and recognize those who paved the way for us,” he said.

“Seeing Natchez approved for inclusion on the Mississippi Freedom Trail and the U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a dream come true,” said Mayor Dan Gibson. “From day one of our administration, we have longed for this to happen. I am so grateful to Devin Heath and Dr. Roscoe Barnes III at Visit Natchez, and Mr. Robert Pernell, who first dropped this idea on my desk, and our amazing committee for making our dream a reality.”

The Mississippi Freedom Trail is part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. It was created in 2011 to honor the people and places that played a major role in the civil rights movement. A total of 25 markers are now posted on the trail, which includes Cleveland, Ruleville, Greenwood, Holly Springs, Clarksdale, and Jackson.

Efforts to have Natchez listed on the Freedom Trail were led by the Natchez Civil Rights Trail Committee. In addition to Heath and Gibson, the volunteer committee members include Roscoe Barnes III, cultural heritage tourism manager for Visit Natchez; Robert Pernell, chairman of the Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument Committee; Rev. Clifton Marvel Sr., pastor of Greater Macedonia Baptist Church; Carter Burns, executive director of Historic Natchez Foundation; Kathleen McClain Bond, superintendent of Natchez National Historical Park; Lance S. Harris, director of Grand Village of the Natchez Indians; Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, president of the Natchez Adams County NAACP Branch; William Terrell, editor and publisher of The Bluff City Post; and James Ware, president of the Natchez Business and Civic League.

Support for the project, which is in Ward 4, also came from Alderwoman Felicia Bridgewater-Irving, and members of Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church, which owns the property.

In addition to serving as the NAACP Headquarters, the Banks House was the home of NAACP President George Metcalfe. In 1964, during Freedom Summer when a thousand volunteers converged on the state to work with Black Mississippians to register voters and operate Freedom schools, members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) resided at the house.

In January 1965, “night riders” who committed acts of violence at night intent on inspiring terror fired shots through a window of the house. On Aug. 27, 1965, Metcalfe suffered serious injuries when his car was bombed at the Armstrong Tire & Rubber plant by the Ku Klux Klan.

The posting of the Freedom Trail marker in Natchez has a price tag of $9,000. However, it is made possible through a partnership between Visit Mississippi and MHC. The two agencies are using federal funds through the U.S. Economic Development Administration to cover the cost of 20 Freedom Trail markers throughout the state.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Visit Mississippi to preserve and promote Mississippi’s vital civil rights history,” said Rockoff in the May 2022 issue of the MHC newsletter. “Our hope is these markers not only attract tourists but also strengthen our communities by helping all Mississippians appreciate our state’s vital civil rights history.”

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top
Search