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Mound Bayou,

Mound Bayou Sounds

Founded in 1887 when former slave Isaiah T. Montgomery became the proprietor of the Davis family estate, several years after a series of escape attempts from said Davis family (yes, that Davis-- as in confederate president Jefferson Davis). Montgomery negotiated for his basic rights, like education, as a compromise to his outright rebellion and seed money for developing businesses. This was unprecedented in the south during slavery, but the genius of Montgomery took advantage of allocated resources and built a vast economic infrastructure, ultimately buying the plantation that his family was enslaved on. They produced cotton after the war, but after that industry dipped, Montgomery’s son helped settle and clear land for Mound Bayou-- an all Black town built by the families on the Davis’s plantations as well as other Black business-people, farmers and educators. The town still persists, living through the civil rights movement, standing as a symbol of liberation for that movement as it housed and helped its leaders.

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