NATCHEZ, MS (WLBT) - In city of Natchez, the river runs wide and history is deep especially Black history. To learn more about how the civil rights movement began and slowly evolved, 3 on your side turned to Miss Lou Heritage tours for help.
“Without Black history in Natchez there is no Natchez,” says tour guide Jeremey Houston. He offers one of the only civil rights tours in the city.
He shows his clients several historic spots around town, beginning at the Forks of the Road. This is where one of largest slave markets in the United States was located.
“These chains that I hold here would have went around the neck and around the wrist. Imagine being chained to another person and this how you are walked,” Houston said.
Houston says selling slaves for profit went of until Union troops shut it down.
The next stop was the childhood home of famous bestselling, African American Author, the late Richard Wright. Houston says this is where he lived with his grandparents. A marker honoring him now sits outside the home.
“This house is very important because his books touched the psyche about the culture of African-Americans,” said Houston.
He wrote Black Boy that details his life in the south during the Jim Crow era.
“In Black Boy, he writes about a fire and well it was supposedly said that when he was a younger person he set this house on fire and tried to escape from getting a whipping,” said Houston.
He also wrote Native Son and a book that was even turned into a Broadway play.
“Those books he wrote catapulted him to world status. He eventually left the United States in the 1940s. He died in Paris, France in 1960,” said Houston.
Houston says his tours are not only about showcasing the past, but reflecting on the future.
“That we don’t forget where we come from. That why it is important,” said Houston.