Mound Bayou, MS


Carnegie Library in course of construction at Mound Bayou, Miss. (p. 1). (n.d.). [Illustrations].


Mound Bayou, MS


The city of Mound Bayou, Mississippi even now stands for release, freedom, and a promised land for the descendants of formerly enslaved people. Founded in 1887, Mound Bayou's population is 98 percent African-American, one of the largest of any community in the United States, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. From its beginnings in a lonely swamp, this small town in the Mississippi Delta grew into a bustling community of Black-owned businesses and successful farms by 1900. With some decline in the 1920s and 30s, Mound Bayou continued to draw Black businesses and a large hospital up until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. In the 1940s and 50s, when racism was at an apex in this country, the town had three schools, forty businesses, a half-dozen churches, a train depot, a post office, a hospital, a newspaper, three cotton gins, a cottonseed mill, a zoo, a Carnegie public library, and a swimming pool -- all Black-owned, operated, and patronized. Fannie Lou Hamer specifically requested to be treated at the Knights of Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou during her final illness before her passing in 1977 - in her own hometown she had been forcibly sterilized without her knowledge and consent when admitted for other treatment.

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