Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography 2011 Finalist Brandon Thibodeaux Mound Bayou, Mississippi

Project Summary: On June 12, 1910 a New York Times headline declared, “Ex-Slaves Dream of a Model Negro Colony Comes True…Where No White Man Can Own a Square Foot of Land.”

I apply to the Michael P. Smith Fund with the intent of continuing my work in Mound Bayou, the first completely African American freedmen settlement in Mississippi - once heralded by Booker T. Washington and President Theodore Roosevelt as being a “shining example of black achievement.”

Isaiah T. Montgomery founded Mound Bayou in 1887. His intentions were to create an autonomous settlement for freedmen seeking shelter from the less stigmatized version of slavery known as sharecropping that began to take hold as the new South emerged.

Congratulations to all of the Finalists in the 2011 Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography

Thibodeaux's Project Proposal

All images © Brandon Thibodeaux