Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2020

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B M & T ••• March/April 2020 ••• 37 M I S S I S S I P P I MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI MOVING FORWARD B Y J o h n C h a r l e s When the Coronavirus lifts there are a number of places to go with great food, culture, and to see people with southern hospitality. In a state that Dr. King said was swel- tering in interposition and nullification there remains a strong legacy of African- American Culture and History. Mississippi is Located in the Black Belt of the United States, the Southeastern States with 43% of the Nation's African American Community. Portrayed in film, music and food Mississippi is rich in heritage and dialectical delights. • • JACKSON • • Jackson Mississippi CVB President- /CEO Rickey Thigpen and his team main- tains a Mississippi River like steady flow of family reunions, conventions and annual events, For example the annual Mississippi Black Rodeo, and the Annual Inter-nation- al Gumbo Festival held in September, provides soul food that bests most rivals. Immerse yourself and your attendees in the vibrant renaissance of downtown Jackson. Discover the Jackson Convention Complex, the centerpiece of the Jackson convention district. The facil- ity is equipped with over 330,000 sq. ft. of meeting and conference space, 60,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 25 meeting/confer- ence rooms, 25,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom a 382-seat, state-of-the-art the- ater, and the latest technology and audio- visual capabilities. Meeting Planners should have no problem booking here for just about any type of conference. At the end of the day, you and your attendees can sleep blissfully in some of Jackson's 4,800 hotel rooms. Hilton Garden Inn Jackson/Downtown, Hilton Jackson & Conference Center, and the Jackson Marriott-Downtown are some of the city's top choices for hotels with meet- ing space for conferences/meetings of various sizes. Jackson served as a drum major for many moments in history that had a sig- nificant impact on the scope of America. Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center served as the first public school for African-American students. It is now the home for thousands of artifacts. The campus of Tougaloo College is recog- nized as "The Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi" because of the fundamental principles of freedom, equal- ity, justice and America's promise. ` • • NATCHEZ • • Mississippi teams with history, and cul- tural currency. Natchez, founded in 1716 and named for the Natchez tribe of Native Americans, is home of the historic Alcorn State University. Between 1835- 1865 Natchez was home to 185 million- aires, made wealthy through forced labor. With The Natchez Convention Center (which boasts 32,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meeting/exhibit space) and the 119-room Grand Hotel right at the river, and other options in the down- town for smaller meetings, Natchez not only provides multiple opportunities for conventions and meetings, but at the same time, provides many, many oppor- tunities to better understand the impor- tance of the contributions made by Africans and African-American people who are a vital and significant part of the story of Natchez. The cultural contributions of African- Americans are at the heart of the history of Natchez. Whether artistic contribu- tions through the craftsmanship that allowed the creation of the stately man- sions that survive today, to the rich sounds of blues music, to foods that mean "Southern," or the suffering and struggles so many faced during both the Civil War, as well as the Civil Rights movement, Natchez is home to extraordi- nary stories of African-American people who have made a tremendous difference in the world. Alexandria International Airport, 70 miles from Natchez, serves the area. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Natchez – (800) 647-6724 • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown 186 Hilton Jackson 276 Jackson Marriott 302 The Westin Jackson 203 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Total Exhibit Space: 60,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms: 25 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Jackson – (800) 354-9675 AREA GUIDES Jackson Convention Complex Photo Credit: Visit Jackson

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