1. The past is a messy and complicated place. The Natchez History Minutes do not shy away from incidents of oppression, conflict, and controversy. With episodes on slavery, lynching, and the Emancipation Proclamation, the project recognizes how the unequal distribution of power has weighed on the historical experiences of peoples and place.
2. New media reach a wide audience. The Park uploads the Natchez History Minutes videos on the NPS YouTube channel and the park’s Facebook page. These posts attract not only Natchez residents, but also viewers across the U.S. and abroad and connect all with the rich history of the region.
3. “Doing history” develops skills for participating in civic life. The Natchez History Minutes showcase the diverse people and experiences that have come to define the Natchez community. So, whether they’ve read the script or simply hit play, Natchez residents have used the videos to learn how others may see the world differently depending on their race, ethnicity, class, or gender.
4. Local partnerships enhance history programs. The Natchez History Minutes rely on partnerships between the park, the city’s Tricentennial Commission, local schools and universities. College interns identified events and people to be featured. Students read and produce scripts. With this creative collaboration, the project encourages youthful new audiences to see the National Park Service as a valuable resource.
5. Good research makes for good history. When park historian Jeff Mansell writes scripts, he’s sure to consult the best scholarship on the topics explored in Natchez History Minutes. He also colors the video with historical details garnered from primary sources like diaries, photographs, and sheet music.
Mardi Gras in Natchez
LaSalle Encounters the Natchez Tribe
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Back to the Series: Best Practices for History Lessons and History Discovery Events.