10 Thriving Black Towns You Didn’t Learn About in History Class
BY TANASIA KENNY | ATLANTA BLACKSTAR
The Land of Promise: Mound Bayou, Mississippi — Mound Bayou was an all-Black town located in the Yazoo Delta of Northwest Mississippi. Established in 1887 by Isaiah Montgomery and 12 other pioneers, the town was considered a new “land of promise” for Black Americans. According to BlackPast.org, an online reference guide to African-American history, this promise included “self-help, race pride, economic opportunity, and social justice.” The community was also self-segregated, which limited interaction with whites until integration was an option. Mound Bayou had a post office, six churches, a bank and countless public and private schools. Through its newspaper, The Demonstrator, the town pushed the importance of education. The community continued to thrive and boasted a population of 8,000 by 1911. Unfortunately, The Great Migration period from 1915 to 1930 caused a sharp decline in the populace. Yet, the town still exists today.
The Fort Mose militia and Spanish soldiers defended St. Augustine and the surrounding area when James Olgethorpe attacked them in 1740.
THE LAND OF PROMISE
Mound Bayou Residents in Front of Store, Late 1930s. Photo courtesy of BlackPast.org
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