Humphreys County Cultural Museum O.M. McNair Elementary School Campus 901 Church Street Belzoni, Mississippi 39038
Facts About Our Beginnings: With divine guidance form our Heavenly Father, ongoing efforts and strategic planning, we were organized February 17, 2008. We offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to the following persons who were instrumental in helping to get the organization started. Professor Douglas Gills of the College of Urban Planning and Public Administration, University of Illinois, Professor Jihad Muhammad, and Fitzgerald Scott of the African Scientific Research Institute (ASRI), Dr. Vibert L. White, University of Central Florida, Shelia Griffin of Houston, Texas, Pam Bailey Professional Graphics Illustrator/Designer of Lorton, Virginia, Mayor of Belzoni, Mr. Wardell Walton, Former Superintendent of Education, Mrs. Joyce B. McNair, Superintendent of Education, Ms. Bonnie Horton, Miss Fannie Scott, Ms. Henrine "Tat" Clay, Ms. Sarah Hood, Mrs. Mattie Straughter, Mr. Howard J. Austin, Representative Alyce Griffin Clarke, Ms. Joyce Lawson from Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Pastor Charles Edwards Sr., and Members of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, citizens of Deovelente and the Humphreys County Community.
The organization is incorporated by the State of Mississippi as a Non-Profit Corporation and have received 501c(3) tax exempt status form the Internal Revenue. All donations are tax deductible.
Our Mission: Our mission is to protect our rich African American Heritage. Our goal is to develop and implement structural, political, educational, and social change in our African American Communities and pass the legacy of our rich heritage on to present and future generations. Our Goals: The first project was to open a museum/cultural center in Belzoni, Mississippi dedicated to the struggles and accomplishments of citizens of Deovelente, Belzoni, Isola, Louise, Midnight, and Silver City. Plans were also made to preserve our African American cemeteries/burial grounds and burial records in our county. We are proud to announce that both goals have been met and we are making great strides in our efforts to continue this great project.
Museum Grand Opening: The Humphreys County Cultural Museum held its Grand Opening Ceremony March 17, 2012. In attendance were many of the citizens of Belzoni and others from near and far. The group was greeted with a beautiful solo, "Speak" from Deanna Mallard. Mayor Wardell Walton gave a warm welcome from the City of Belzoni, and Superintendent Bonnie Horton addressed the crowd on behalf of the Humphreys County School District. Mrs. Eula Jefferson Davis gave an overview of the history of the Museum and how it became the Humphreys County Cultural Museum. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held with all of the officers and visitors participating. The group toured the museum.
And They Came: Since the opening date, the museum has been visited by students from the local school district and many out-of-state visitors. This cultural center has provided the children of Humphreys County School District an array of knowledge concerning the many contributions of our ancestors and the struggles they faced to survive and their many accomplishments. June 2012, the museum hosted a Boys Club visit, sponsored by Mr. Timothy Lewis and the young men and women organization of Humphreys County. Nearly 200 boys toured the Museum. Additionally 150 teachers from Teach for America from all over the United States visited the museum in July 2012. Mid-Delta Adult Day Care visited the Museum in May and many of them actually had tears in their eyes as they made their way through the different rooms. They were very excited about the visit and promised to return for another visit. Many of them wrote thank you letters and expressed how seeing the various exhibits and artifacts brought back many memories. More than 400 McNair Alumni attending the McNair School Reunion visited the museum. They were filled with joy to see the progress that has been made. The opening year for the museum was indeed a great success!!!!
Special Features: The Museum is featured on a very renowned TV Show "Look Around Mississippi". To access this feature, go to News Channel 3, Jackson, Mississippi and click on Walt Grayson Look Around Mississippi. "A Place Called Deovelente".
Preservation of African American Cemeteries: With the assistance of Jeffery Griffin and Eula J. Davis, a website has been created for nearly all African American Cemeteries in Humphreys County at www.findagrave.com. This site will serve as a great source of information for our future generation. We encourage all of our Humphreys County citizens to visit the site, and if you do not see your deceased relatives listed, please contact us and we will assist you in getting those added. This site also links to all cemeteries registered with findagrave.com.
It is our hope that each of you will come "home" and visit the museum. We need your support both prayerfully and financially to help keep this museum a state of the arts project that all will be proud of. Donations are gratefully accepted, please make your donations payable to Humphreys County Cultural Museum.
The Humphreys County Cultural Museum houses The McNair Museum, Mr. Howard J. Austin, Director; The Deovelente Heritage Preservation Society Museum, Eula Jefferson Davis, Director; The Belzoni Museum, Mrs. Daliah Hooker Randall, Director; and the Isola Museum, Mrs. Clara Taylor Reed, Director. We are currently working with citizens of Louise, Silver City, and Midnight to get their museum started. Rooms are available for these groups.