Mound Bayou, a town located on the Mississippi Delta was founded circa 1887 by freed enslaved people, Isaiah T. Montgomery and his cousin, Benjamin T. Green, who purchased 840 acres of Mississippi swampland.
The goal was to become a self-reliant, autonomous, all-Black community. During its heyday, Mound Bayou had dozens of businesses, including three cotton gins, a sawmill, a cottonseed oil mill, a bank, and a hospital. Mound Bayou, proclaimed by Teddy Roosevelt as “The Jewel of the Delta”, has unfortunately fallen on hard times and the population is down to just 1,500 but it remains 98% Black.
- Block, M. 2017. “Here’s What’s Become of The All-Black Town in Mississippi Delta.” National Public Radio.
- Wormser, Richard. 2002. “Isaiah Washington”. Jim Crow Stories: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. Educational Broadcasting Corporation.
- The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Negros talking on street, Mound Bayou, Mississippi.” New York Public Library Digital Collections.