Healthy Soul

Headed to Jackson, MS, and missing a town with a painful history

My friend Valarie and I are on our own Black History tour aboard Amtrak, visiting heritage sites pertaining to African American history in Chicago, Memphis, Jackson, New Orleans, Birmingham, and Washington,DC. We began on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. Here is what we did on Day 4, traveling from Memphis to Jackson, MS.

It was an easy day today. The train was filled with families going away for the long weekend. As we were sitting in the sightseeing car watching the cornfields and towns swoosh by, we saw that Greenwood, MS, was eight miles from Money, MS, where Emmett Till was brutally murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1955. In Greenwood, we were joined on the train by a volunteer from the National Park Service’s Trails and Rails program. She went from car to car inviting riders to join her in the sightseeing car about noon for her talk about some of the nearby national parks.

Dawna, our host in Jackson, MS.


We missed her presentation, as our train arrived in Jackson, MS, about 11 a.m. and we took a cab over to see Dawna at the VA Hospital where she worked in the Pathology Department.  It was in the planning to visit Dawna that this Black History tour aboard Amtrak came into being. The airfares between Philadelphia and Jackson were just too high for a weekend jaunt. In exploring other options we saw that Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass allowed for fun and adventurous vacation for much less than the airfare between two cities.

Stashing our bags in the trunk of her car, we borrowed it and went searching for lunch and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Natchez Trace, Ridgeland, MS

The brochure “A Driving Tour of the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson” caight our eye. We’ll peruse it to plan activities for the next two days. After work, Dawna took us on a portion of the Ridgeland section of the Natchez Trace and then to the 50-square mile Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Sunset at the Ross Barnett Reservoir,Ridgeland, MS.


Click here to read the other posts from Jennifer’s Black History Tour.

Comments are closed.