Natchez could add names on monument to civil rights march

Organizers say more names could be added to a monument commemorating an October 1965 civil rights demonstration in Mississippi.

The granite monument in Natchez _ unveiled in 2019 _ is engraved with the names of 486 people who were unjustly imprisoned during the demonstration.

But Natchez Alderwoman Felicia Irving told the Natchez Democrat members of her own family were left off the monument, and some of her constituents also pointed out names that should have been included.

The Proud to Take a Stand Monument Committee is reconvening to add names to the list. The deadline to submit additional names is March 1.

During the 1965 voting rights protest, hundreds of Black demonstrators were arrested for violating a city parade ordinance that was later ruled unconstitutional. Many were held at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman because city and county jails were full.

A community liaison for the city of Natchez, Jessica Hawkins, said anyone who was arrested or knows someone who was arrested during the demonstration from Oct. 2 through Oct. 5, 1965 should submit the names to the mayor’s office by the March 1 deadline with supporting documents.

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