Mound Bayou mayor to appear on PBS history series
by Paisley Boston
Nov 05, 2013 | 2353 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Darryl Johnson, mayor of Mound Bayou, is set to make an appearance on the Public Broadcasting Service channel today at 7 p.m.

Johnson participated in a six part series that chronologically mapped the locations and people in history, which aided Africans in the transition to America.

The series is titled "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross."

It explores 500 years and two continents to shed new light on the experience of being an African American.

"I feel like history has been told in the United States minus Black History and I just felt like it was really time for the real history of black America to be told. It has been hidden for far to long. We dwell in a place that has some of the richest history in black America and its recognition is long over due. I am just proud to know that there are people in position now to tell our story," said Johnson.

"I often say that if anyone needs to tell it, we should tell it. I am very elated to be apart of the story being told."

According to Johnson, former mayor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, received a large grant to aid in the production of the series.

Johnson is set to appear on episode three of the six part series, titled "Into the Fire".

This episode examines African-American history, the Civil War and the end of slavery, and Reconstruction.

"Dr. Gates interviewed Dr. Eulah Peterson and I, about one year ago. We explained the opulent and substantial history of the great town of Mound Bayou. The town is highly significant in African American history because former slaves founded it. Jefferson Davis and his brother Joe Davis were part of a plantation in south Mississippi.

“Joe Davis was the older brother of Jefferson Davis and he was a very, very rich person. He had the most prosperous plantation in the south and the way that he ran his plantation was different from all of the other plantations because he allowed his slaves to be educated," said Johnson as he explained the origin of Mound Bayou. "The person who actually ran his plantation conglomerate was the father of the founder of Mound Bayou and the uncle of the other founder. They both were highly educated. I call them agriculture geniuses. After the slaves founded Mound Bayou, 15 years later, it became the most highly economically booming place in this part of Mississippi. It actually led Cleveland tremendously in industry," said Johnson.

According to Gates, throughout the course of the series, viewers will see that the road to freedom for black people in America was not linear, but more like the course of a river, full of loops and eddies, slowing, and occasionally reversing the current of progress.