Oldest Slave Founded Town in Mississippi – Mound Bayou, Mississippi
Tracing history of the former slaves of the area can be an interesting journey. This journey may take you to Mound Bayou which was founded in 1887 by Isaiah T. Montgomery and his cousin, Benjamin T. Green. These two men were both former slaves of Joseph Emory Davis. The community is situated halfway between Vicksburg, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee off of Highway 61. It is the oldest bastion of Black municipal government in the South. The community is also the oldest black city in the United States.
These two men had a dream of creating a U.S. Negro Town even before the Civil War. They wanted it to serve as a sanctuary for African-American families and culture.
Named after nearby Mississippian mounds, Mound Bayou was founded by Black settlers in conjunction with the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad, which was laying track through the area. Its founders were trying to escape post-Reconstruction violence and repression in the South by establishing their own community. Today, this essentially agricultural area remains 99.6% Black, the largest such municipality in the country.
Stop in for a visit, look at the historical buildings, see how the community functions and listen to the stories of the people that live here. It will be a nice stop on your vacation in Mississippi.
Phone: 662-641-0119, Pastor Darryl Johnson