Thompson, Hyde-Smith visit Vicksburg for local events

Published 7:28 am Friday, March 29, 2024

Both Rep. Bennie Thompson and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith were in Vicksburg this week attending events and taking time to speak to residents.

Thompson served as the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Blacks in Government (BIG) 27th Annual Black History Month Program at the Ardis T. Williams City Auditorium, while Hyde-Smith spoke to the Vicksburg Rotary Club prior to serving as the keynote speaker for the grand opening of the Thad Cochran MCITy building Thursday.

During his visit, Thompson spoke of the important role Vicksburg has played in the development of Black culture not just in Mississippi, but across the country.

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“This notion about art is important,” Thompson said. “What I remember about this area, when I was a student, my big time was to come to Vicksburg to the Blue Room. Some of the most widely known artists played in your city.”

Thompson said Vicksburg has also played a pivotal role in the progress of Black citizens in Mississippi.

“My charge to you, in this community, is to not let history ever repeat itself,” he said.

Hyde-Smith, during Thursday’s address to the Rotary Club, also talked about Vicksburg as a priority and its importance to the state.

“When I think of Vicksburg, as you all know, what comes to my mind are the pumps,” Hyde-Smith said of the ongoing battle over the Yazoo Backwater Area pump station. “Could I write a book on that? But we are in a really good position. We have the painting and design that is starting there, but you talk about one step forward and two steps back for a long time. That got really old.”

Thompson went on to take part in the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation for former president of the Mississippi Chapter of BIG Dennis R. Butler at Wednesday’s event, while Hyde-Smith would end her trip with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at MCITy Thursday.