City scouted for black heritage tours
Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 26, 2014
Vicksburg is being considered as a destination on African-American themed tours of southern heritage.
Sharon Robinson of Tyler Travel in Chicago was in Vicksburg this week scouting locations for potential tours.
“There’s a strong connection between Chicago and Mississippi,” Robinson said. “People want to go back and tour Mississippi.”
Between 1915 and 1970 more than 6 million blacks moved out of the south into the North, Midwest and West in an event historians refer to as the Great Migration. Between 1910 and 1930, Chicago’s black population grew by about 40 percent as African-Americans left their homes in the South in search of industrial jobs in the North, according to U.S. Census data.
“I’ve been driving around the city looking at the sites and seeing what’s here and what’s to come,” Robinson said.
Some of the attractions she scouted include the Jacqueline House Museum and Vicksburg national Military Park. Jacqueline House opened in the 1990s and is the only museum in the city dedicated exclusively to African-American History.
Vicksburg National Military Park has a one-of-a-kind monument to black history, said retired Brig. Gen. Robert Crear, president of Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign.
“There’s only one monument in a National Park that’s dedicated to U.S. Colored Troops, and it is here in this park,” Crear said.
And then there’s Vicksburg’s long, rich history of the blues that continues every weekend with the Vicksburg Blues Society performances at Ameristar Casino. Castro Coleman, who performs as Mr. Sipp, won first place in the International Blues Competition in January after winning the Vicksburg regional.
“People who like to come to the South are interested in the music,” Robinson said.