In this wood engraving, published on June 30, 1866, in Harper's Weekly, Chaplain Joseph Warren, superintendent of education under the Freedmen's Bureau in Mississippi, marries an African American couple in Vicksburg. Joseph Warren, seen at right, served as Chaplain for the 64th United States Colored Infantry that was part of the Vicksburg garrison. After the war, Warren remained in Vicksburg as an agent of the Freedmen's Bureau. The original drawing was made by the artist Alfred R. Waud.
Original Author: Alfred R. Waud, artist;
Created: June 30, 1866;
Medium: Wood engraving;
Courtesy of Library of Virginia
Photo from https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/
This image might seem an odd choice as the frontpiece for this site. However, I chose it to illustrate what was surely a time of hope for young families in Vicksburg and Warren County. They could now marry with an expectation that their children would at last, after so many years of being denied, have an opportunity for an educatio. Sadly the end of Reconstruction would dash their biggest dreams. Despite this, legions of Black women and men soldiered on and dedicated their lives to the education of generation after generation of Black children.
Over the past few years I have researched individuals, schools and organizations relating to the African-American community in Warren County, Mississippi where I grew up. In an effort to provide some recognition for the, too long ignored, African-American schools in the county, I found some remarkable individuals who worked against nearly unsurmountable odds to educate and to serve their community. It seemed fitting to make their stories available for now and for future generations. It is important that we remember what they did. Their work has not stopped. Today African-Americans in Warren County continue to work to overcome the long history of discrimination which continues to this day. I salute them.
Acknowledgements: I have benefited greatly from the Facebook Group: Vicksburg African American History Group and its many members. It is a community that is interested in their history and works to preserve it. I can not recommend it too highly. My intention with this site is to complement the work of the group.
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