The Natchez Fire: African American Remembrance through Interviews, Photographs, and Songs

The fire had already taken the life of more than two hundred people, most of them young African Americans, students from the surrounding high schools and colleges who had come to the club to celebrate the end of the school year by jitterbugging to the tunes of then famous Chicago swing jazz band leader Walter Barnes. Along with these interviews are 10 photographs I took between 2009 and 2011, including the places and residents whose memories of the tragedy form the core of my fieldwork. […]I am grateful to Jimmy Anderson and Thelma Williams who allowed me to reproduce several of their archival photographs, each of which adds visual depth to their powerful accounts.

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