Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture
Located in the former United States Post Office building, the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates the rich history of the local African American community from 1716, the year Natchez was established to today. The museum's exhibits explore a variety of topics including the Rhythm Nightclub fire, one of the deadliest fires in American history (200 people were killed), the Three Forks Slave Market (the second largest slave market in the South), and the life and legacy of author Richard Wright, who was born here. Many items are on display including photographs, personal belongings, books, works of art, and a wide range of artifacts.
Backstory and Context
The post office was built around 1904. It is not clear how long it operated but the museum was founded in 1991 by Mary Lee Toles, who was the first African American judge in the city. The museum highlights the lives of several prominent local African Americans. One is that of the slave Abdul Rahman, who was freed by President John Quincy Adams after 40 years and resettled in Africa. Author Richard Wright, as noted above, was born here and he would go on to become an internationally recognized writer. Another famous individual and Natchez native was signer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, who earned the nickname "Black Swan." The life and legacy of local pastor Rev. Hiram Rhodes Revels is explored as well. Rhodes became the first African American in Congress and he was later elected as U.S. Senator in 1870.
Fraser, Regina & Johnson, Pat. "Natchez, Mississippi Up Close." Huffington Post. March 2, 2015. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/natchez-mississippi-up-close_b_6780942.
Maples, Nancy Jo. "Natchez museum showcases African American heritage." Today in Mississippi. Accessed November 25, 2020. http://www.todayinmississippi.com/special_feature/article/3796.
Murphy, Patrick. "Celebrating Black History: Local museum adds unique dimension to Natchez story." February 27, 2020. https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2020/02/27/celebrating-black-history-local-museum-adds-unique-dimension-to-natchez-story.
"Museum of African American History and Culture." Visit Natchez. Accessed November 25, 2020. https://www.visitnatchez.org/business/natchez-museum-of-african-american-history-and-culture.