Historian releases 2 new books in Black historical past collection

Jeremy Houston, the founding father of Miss-Lou Heritage Group and Excursions, has just lately launched volumes 4 and 5 of his ongoing Black historical past collection about individuals from Natchez.

In 2016, Houston first set out writing true tales about Black individuals from Natchez who completed nice issues of their lifetime, known as “Straight Outta Natchez.”

His purpose in doing so, he stated, is to protect historical past and inform African People about their heritage—not tales about “individuals selecting cotton” however free individuals who have influenced historical past, artwork and tradition.

It was inside a 12 months of the discharge of the movie “Straight Outta Compton,” centered across the lives of well-known NWA rap artists Dr. Dre, Straightforward-E, Ice Dice, MC Ren and DJ Yella.

At the moment, “They have been placing ‘Straight Outta’ in all places,” Houston stated. “I wished to make use of that, so I took it and ran with it.”

Lower than six years later, he has launched the fourth and fifth books within the collection.

He printed “Straight Outta Natchez Quantity IV: Girls of Black Natchez” and “Straight Outta Natchez Quantity V: Leaders of the New College” final month.

Because the identify implies, the primary is centered round Black ladies who lived throughout Jim Crow, the Civil Rights motion and past.

Amongst them are Daisy Newman, famend opera singer and founding father of the Younger Musicians Choral Orchestra; Nellie Jackson, most recognized for proudly owning an unlawful brothel in Natchez and contributing to a number of charitable causes; and Artimese West, the primary Black Natchez alderwoman.

“They have been essential to the essence of what Natchez is right now,” Houston stated.

Quantity V takes a extra trendy flip, highlighting six people who find themselves nonetheless dwelling and persevering with to do “good work,” Houston stated.

Amongst these are Jamar White, one of many youngest individuals to run for political workplace in Natchez’s historical past. In 2020, White ran for Natchez Alderman Ward 1 as an unbiased in opposition to his former instructor, Joyce Arceneaux Mathis, on the age of 21. Although he misplaced the election, Natchez has not seen the final of him. He has since based a summer time camp for younger males, Restoring Manhood, to happen in June on the Bob M. Dearing Natchez State Park.

One other man spotlighted within the guide is Barney Scoby Jr., who was honored because the Nationwide Park Service Ranger of the 12 months in 2015. The guide additionally talks about Justin Hamilton, a defensive linebacker from Natchez who graduated and went on to play within the NFL for the Buffalo Payments, Inexperienced Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

Trendy-day ladies of Natchez are featured within the fifth quantity as properly, together with Chantel Marsaw, founding father of the group “It Nonetheless Takes a Village” which goals to assist younger individuals who’ve misplaced a mum or dad. It additionally spotlights Jackie Marsaw who began a “Grieving Moms and Others” social group for folks who misplaced a toddler and leads many different social and charitable causes.

Houston stated he additionally plans to launch a coloring guide for youngsters this summer time known as “Coloration the Heritage of Natchez.”

“I hope these books are inspirational and motivational for younger individuals in Natchez,” Houston stated. “I hope to get into the colleges and let the kids there learn about these nice individuals who additionally grew up right here. … Some helped change not solely Natchez and Mississippi but additionally america and the world.”

The books can be found for buy on amazon.com and will quickly be offered at Natchez areas this summer time, he stated.