Martin Luther King Memorial Service
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was celebrated on Monday as it has been for the last 21 years.
A march followed by a memorial service at the Humphreys Coounty Courthouse was held at noon.
Dr. Ronald Myers and Helen Sims made presentations to the group in honor Dr. King.
(Belzoni Banner Newspaper - 1/19/11)
THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE & HOPE
THE MYERS FOUNDATION
THE NATIONAL JUNETEENTH CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
THE DELTA CATFISH FARMING INITIATIVE
WITH GREAT PRIDE ANNOUNCES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE:
DENISE LASALLE HOMECOMING WEEKEND
Saturday, October 21, 2006,
Downtown Courthouse Building
Click below for more information:
Formerly known as the:
African-American Heritage BUFFALO FISH FESTIVAL
Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus)
Click on the picture above for more information
1996 - 2005
TEN YEARS OF HONORING:
DENISE LASALLE &
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CATFISH INDUSTRY WORKERS
DELTA BLUES MEETS DELTA JAZZ
Past and Present Performers:
Minister, Physician & Jazz Musician
From the book
THE BLUES IN BELZONI
How Bush & Co. gutted workers’ rights in the catfish houses of the Mississippi Delta
By Molly Ivins & Lou Dubose October 3, 2003
National Campaign For Justice & Hope
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder
October 1, 2001
The National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC) requests your support for our National Campaign For Justice & Hope, concerning the Catfish Industry. The Catfish Industry, the new plantation in America, makes millions of dollars of profit off the labor of African-American catfish workers who are paid low wages and given little in benefits. These workers are forced to work under deplorable and dehumanizing conditions where racism is rampant. In the Mississippi Delta, America's poorest region, there are no African-American top level catfish industry executives, catfish processors, or few, if any catfish farmers. African-American catfish farmers are forced out of business because they are unable to sell their fish. The only African-American catfish processor was driven out of business several years ago.
Much of the catfish produced by the industry are purchased and consumed by African-Americans in cities throughout the country. These catfish processing plants are mainly located in four southern states, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama. The industry returns little from the millions of dollars in profit made off the sell of catfish to the African-American community in these southern states. A key organization in the Catfish Industry, the Catfish Farmers of America, refuses to meet with community leaders to discuss the economic exploitation of poor rural African-American communities across the delta region through the processing and selling of catfish.
Many Catfish Processors receive business tax exemptions, federal and state economic development grant funds and business loans, all at the tax payers expense. The Catfish Industry should be accountable for exploiting our community through the use of public funds and resources.
Through our National Campaign For Justice and Hope, we want to bring attention to the plight of African-American catfish workers and the negative economic impact the Catfish Industry continues to have on our community. We need your support to bring justice and fairness to poor rural areas like the Mississippi Delta. Through our Delta Catfish Farming Initiative (DCFI) we are trying to open a black owned Catfish Processing Plant in partnership with area black farmers.
Belzoni, Mississippi is known as the "Catfish Capital of the World". The Belzoni-Humphreys Development Foundation has a Catfish Museum and will not allow the development of an exhibit displaying the contributions of African-Americans to the Catfish Industry. The annual World Catfish Festival, held in Belzoni each year, does not include any significant participation from the African-American community. The foundation will not allow African-American members to form a committee to uplift the contributions of African-Americans to the Catfish Industry. They also refused to give an African-American member of the foundation copies of the organization's by-laws and did not allow a group of African-American catfish workers to become members of the foundation.
The same city resources that support the World Catfish Festival are not available to the African-American Heritage Buffalo Fish Festival. The City of Belzoni charges a $32.10 water bill reconnection fee to African-American residents when water services have not been disconnected. A cloud of suspicion still looms over the collection and accounting of money for water bills, along with the unfair firing of African-American city workers falsely accused of stealing money.
For information on how you can support the National Campaign for Justice & Hope contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-1471, e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com or web sites: www.buffalofishfestival.com, www.njclc.com or www.myersfoundation.net.
RACISM AND INJUSTICE STILL PREVALENT IN BELZONI, MISSISSIPPI
"CATFISH CAPITOL OF THE WORLD"
A DOWNTOWN BELZONI RESTAURANT WILL NOT SERVE CERTAIN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY LEADERS AND THEIR GUESTS, BOTH BLACK AND WHITE, BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT EFFORTS TO BRING JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS TO THE CATFISH INDUSTRY FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY.
THE BELZONI HUMPHREYS COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION REFUSED TO ALLOW AN ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CATFISH WORKERS TO BECOME MEMBERS OF THE FOUNDATION WHILE MANY CATFISH PROCESSING PLANT COMPANIES ARE GRANTED MEMBERSHIPS.
AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN CITIZEN WAS FORCED TO PAY A $32.10 WATER RECONNECTION FEE WHEN THE WATER WAS NEVER SHUT OFF. OTHER AFRICAN-AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT BEING UNFAIRLY TREATED CONCERNING THEIR WATER BILLS. AFRICAN-AMERICAN CITY WORKERS WERE FIRED AFTER BEING FALSELY ACCUSED OF STEALING WATER BILL MONEY FROM CITY HALL.
AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PHYSICIAN IN HUMPHREYS COUNTY WAS FALSELY ACCUSED OF DISTURBING THE PEACE AT A HOSPITAL MEDICAL STAFF MEETING BY THE HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR AND WAS SERVED AN ARREST WARRANT BY THE SHERIFF. AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PHYSICIAN IN PRIVATE PRACTICE FOR MANY YEARS WAS UNJUSTLY BARRED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE HUMPHREYS COUNTY HEALTH NETWORK. MANY WRITTEN COMPLAINTS AND REQUESTS FOR MEETINGS WITH THE HOSPITAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES CONTINUE TO BE IGNORED BY COUNTY OFFICIALS.
CITY RESOURCES AND STREET CLOSINGS USED IN SUPPORT OF THE WORLD CATFISH FESTIVAL ARE NOT GRANTED TO THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE BUFFALO FISH FESTIVAL. THE CITY REFUSES TO HAVE A TELEPHONE POLE REMOVED AND ALLEY MAINTAINED ON THE GROUNDS OF THE BUFFALO FISH FESTIVAL.
AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY LEADER WAS THREATENED BY A HUMPHREYS COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT CLERK FOR RESPONDING TO A COMPLAINT OF FALSE ARREST AND ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS. A WRITTEN COMPLAINT FOR AN INVESTIGATION BY THE SHERIFF CONCERNING THE INCIDENT HAS BEEN IGNORED.
PLEASE PRAY FOR BELZONI AND HUMPHREYS COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI!