Many attend unveiling of new Natchez monument commemorating The Parchman Ordeal

Many come out to watch unveiling of new Natchez monument commemorating The Parchman Ordeal

NATCHEZ, Miss. (WLBT) - Civil rights activist and former Atlanta mayor, Andrew Young, was on hand for the unveiling of the new monument that commemorates the 1965 Parchman Ordeal in Natchez.

The monument is called “Proud To Take A Stand.”

Mayor Darryl Grennell says the Parchman Ordeal was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

“Natchez citizens decided they were going to march against racism and segregation,” said Grennell. “They were warned if they marched in the city streets of Natchez they would be arrested. They marched anyway.”

Deloris Bassett is a Parchman Ordeal survivor. She says she was in the 11th grade when she was arrested.

“It was very hard, it was gruesome,” said Bassett, reliving the event. "It was so cold we had to take our clothes off, just about. We had no cover in the beds, just tin. A lot of the girls had to sleep on the floor on their hands. We had no food... the food was not edible at all, it was horrific.

The picture on the monument reflects the protest of this arrest and the names on the back of the monument are made up of 468 individuals who were arrested city jail, county jail or penitentiary.

Bassett says after all she and hundreds of others went through to fight for racial justice. This monument makes her feel proud.

“I just want to cry I am so elated. Thank God.”

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