This video from The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow looks at Isaiah T. Montgomery, the political leader and businessman who in 1887 founded the African American community of Mound Bayou, along the Mississippi Delta. Residents cleared the land and developed a thriving city along the frontier. By the late 1800s, Mound Bayou was a successful community and a safe haven for southern blacks. In 1890, Montgomery became a key figure in a brewing controversy when, in an effort to protect Mound Bayou from white intervention, he agreed to vote at the Mississippi Constitutional Convention for an amendment that would ensure the legal disenfranchisement of blacks in the state.
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