West Point celebrates the history of Cottrell Street

WEST POINT, Miss (WCBI) – One Street in West Point is making a lot of commotion and looking to keep its history alive.
The Cottrell Street Music and Heritage Festival kicked off its second year by welcoming hundreds of people with food, vendors, and live music.
WCBI  talked with festival directors about the history of Cottrell Street and the importance of honoring it.

Their West Point community started their morning off early with a parade headed to Cottrell Street.

Chairman Margaret Shelton says to some, it may just be a street, but to others, this is where many African Americans got their first opportunity in West Point.

“Back in the ’60s this was a very viable street where most African Americans had started businesses and this is what we called our “Black Wallstreet” and it was very productive and brought a lot of income into the city of west point,” Shelton.

Shelton says that hundreds of people across different states have come out to support the event.

She says they never imagined their second year would have such a big turnout.

” When we first started this we had no imagination it would grow into this event,” said Shelton.

Co-chairman Carolyn Poston says they have worked hard to prepare for the event

and one of the biggest things they did was learn from last year.

” What we learned this year that is different than last year is we worked together as a team and came together and were supportive of each other. We just tried to get people to come and participate in this event,” said Poston.

Shelton says the same street that was once lined with African American businesses

is seeing history repeat itself.

and it wouldn’t be possible without the support from each other.

” What it means to me is the commodity we bring when we get together and we celebrate each other. We have 61 vendors of all different kinds of products of foods, arts and crafts, and it’s just no competition,” said Shelton.

Poston says it’s essential for them to get even the youngest community members involved

because they will be the ones to carry on the legacy of the sacred street.

” We just wanted to bring awareness to Cottrell Street and educate our young and youth in education and getting them more involved in their community,” said Poston.

If you would like to become a member there will be a general meeting in January where you can learn more.

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