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Adams County board considers request for funds to build civil rights monument
from Staff Reports - NEWS
June 5, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. -- The Adams County Board of Supervisors will ask the state auditor if county funds can be provided to help the city build a monument to recognize Natchez civil rights activists unjustly imprisoned 52 years ago in what’s known as the “Parchman Ordeal.”

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell, who’s leading a fund-raising campaign to erect the granite marker and plaza, has asked county supervisors twice to chip in $38,300 to augment funds the city board and private donors are giving for the estimated $115,000 needed for the memorial.

County board President Calvin Butler said last month the county can’t afford to donate the money. However, after another plea for money made Monday, supervisors agreed to ask the Mississippi auditor’s office if public funds can legally be donated for the monument. The auditor oversees state and local governments to ensure public funds are being spent in accords with state law.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen agreed in February to put up $38,300 for the monument from funds it gets from the Magnolia Bluffs Casino in Natchez.
The monument will memorialize the ordeal that more than 150 blacks in October 1965 endured when arrested by Natchez law-enforcement officers as the marchers were peacefully protesting civil-rights abuses. Because there was not enough space in city and county jails, some activists were bused to Parchman state prison in north Mississippi and held in inhumane conditions until bailed out.
The so-called “Proud to Take a Stand” marker is to be a six-foot-tall, 12-foot-long semicircle monument located by the corner of Jefferson and Canal streets on the Natchez City Auditorium grounds. It’s to be accompanied by a sitting wall and small plaza with a written narrative of the event and names of those arrested. It’ll also take note of the official contrition expressed in 2015 by the Natchez Board of Aldermen in a resolution apologizing to blacks "who suffered these injustices." | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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