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Africans on the Mississippi

Arts Council is proud to serve as a fiscal agent for AFRICANS ON THE MISSISSIPPI.

Africans on the Mississippi is a five-part docuseries exploring the African influence of life along the Mississippi River, examining the unabridged oral, spiritual, cultural, and historical connections of water to African American life.


Episode One: To Pray In My Native Tongue – New Orleans, LA Documents foundational African spiritual practices of New Orleans deeply rooted in ancestral traditions that survived because of Sundays in Congo Square.


Episode Two: The Mississippi River Road The Mississippi River Road is like entering a time capsule connecting communities created by the hundreds of plantations that once flourished along the river. The plantations are long gone but the communities remain, bequeathing an indelible imprint on America’s rich oral music, food, language and cultural history.


Episode Three: Forks in the Road – Natchez, Mississippi Natchez was once known as the wealthiest city in North America due to its slave market. Thousands of enslaved people were forced to march from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to the Natchez slave market known as Forks In The Road. Natchez remains a treasure trove of oral histories preserved by families, both Black and White, connected yet separated by skin color.


Episode Four: Orange Mound - Memphis, Tennessee Memphis is known as the birthplace of the blues and home of Rock and Roll. During the Civil War, the city became predominantly populated by enslaved people fleeing plantations to join the Union Army following the 1862 Union takeover of the city. Following the Civil War, newly freed people established Orange Mound as the first community built solely for and by Africans Americans. By 1970, Orange Mound became the largest Black community outside of Harlem, New York.


Episode Five: The Return This final episode brings our series full circle as we document an African American family travel to their ancestral homeland of Guinea Bissau. We explore tribal connections, historical locations and interview historians about generational links to ancestors lost to the slave trade.

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Support this project. 


-OR- Mail a check to Arts Council (251 N Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101) with AFRICANS ON THE MISSISSIPPI in the memo line. 

In 2021, Arts Council launched a new service to the community by serving as a fiscal agent for projects that fulfil our mission as the chief advocate of arts and culture in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. A fiscal agent is an established IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that agrees to accept donations on behalf of a group that does not have IRS tax exemption. By serving as a fiscal agent for various local projects, we are better able to support the arts and cultural community by accepting funds on our partner's behalf and granting them back to our partner organization. This gives donors a tax deduction for their gift and helps for us to better fulfil our mission at Arts Council. 

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