Youth-led Community Development in Mound Bayou

In an update of the historic preservation work going on in Mound Bayou, we focus this week on youth-led community development.  The idea is engaging youth in community development, including historic preservation and economic development.  Working with the City of Mound Bayou on this project has been enlightening, challenging, and most of all, fun.  Mississippi Heritage Trust has a great curriculum for use with students in elementary and high school.  We adapted it for our first Historic Preservation workshop in October, and again for the recent workshop.

We utilized the theme for the upcoming 125th celebration in July of the founding of Mound Bayou:

Believing in our past to motivate the future.

We used the photographs of various buildings in Mound Bayou that the students in the October workshop had taken, photographs from the January service learning class held in Mound Bayou, and a variety of photos I have taken over the past year during my travels to Mound Bayou.  I added some other photos of places outside of Mound Bayou.  We selected a variety of doors, windows, steps, walls, columns, towers, and roofs, and mixed them all together.  The task was for each group to select from the parts of buildings and construct a building that did not currently exist in Mound Bayou, but which they would like to see in Mound Bayou.  They had to identify the building, its purpose or use, and three things they thought would be necessary in order to get that building/business established in Mound Bayou.

Keep an eye out for these dynamic youth plans for the future:

The Mound Bayou Recreation Center: an escape for youth; tutoring, physical activity, and a place for youth and adults to volunteer…

The Mound Bayou Shelter Home: a place to help homeless people get back on their feet with a safe place to sleep, help with finding a job, food, and other services…

The North Bayou Dance Studio: a multi-use dance studio because there are a lot of talented dancers and musicians in the area, with no place to perform…

The Magic City Restaurant: a nice place to eat Italian and seafood without leaving town…

I thought it very interesting that the Magic City group selected from Italianate building parts, without even knowing what Italianate was, or ever having heard of it, to create their Italian restaurant.  Can you spot the varying architectural styles and buildings used in their project?

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Categories: African American History, Delta, Historic Preservation, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Mound Bayou, Preservation Education

2 replies

  1. This is great! I love seeing preservation used to help people especially when students are doing the helping. It helps debunk the myth that preservation is only about dead white guys.

    Like

    • Thanks, Thomas. It has been amazing to work with these youth. They really are invested in preserving the historic properties in the community, as well as the historic legacy of the community.

      Like

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