Park to host memorial illumination events


Cane River Creole National Historical Park will host two memorial illumination events to remember and honor the people who were enslaved on Magnolia Plantation and Oakland Plantation Feb. 12 and Feb. 26 as part of Black History Month. The Magnolia illumination will take place on Saturday, Feb. 12, and the Oakland illumination will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26. 
The free illumination events and self-guided tours will begin at 6:30 p.m., and end at 8,p.m. The tours will be outdoors, will cover about a half mile over uneven and unpaved ground and will occur rain or shine. Participants are encouraged to take a flashlight and dress appropriately for weather and walking conditions.

This article published in the Feb. 3, 2022, print edition

Oakland Plantation is located at 4386 Highway 494, Natchez. Magnolia Plantation, which can only be accessed from La Hwy. 1 is located at 5549 Hwy. 119, Derry. 
Slaveery and the act of emancipation have left indelible imprints on many aspects of Cane River life and the park has been working for years to uncover the stories of the people that lived on the two plantations.
Each luminaria represents an enslaved man, woman or child. Groupings of luminarias reflect a moment in time in the plantation’s history. Luminaries will be marked with the names, ages, places of origin and skills of the enslaved individuals when possible. This information has been retrieved from original archives. 
 “We honor them by finding out their names and remembering their contributions to the landscape, the park and our country,” said Chief of Interpretation Barbara Justice. “It is important that we remember all of the people that helped create the nation, that we remember not just the good parts of our story but also the painful parts. We can’t heal if we don’t acknowledge the pain.” 
 Anyone who might know more details about enslaved people who lived and worked on Oakland or Magnolia is encouraged to reach out and share. Contact the park to volunteer to assemble and/or place luminaries on Feb. 12 or Feb. 26.