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Public invited to cultural heritage dedication

DEDICATION JANUARY 31 – The mural next to the post office celebrating “Hazlehurst Homes and Heritage” will be dedicated at the same time as the Robert Johnson Blues Trail marker will be installed. The public is invited to attend ceremonies at the Pavilion next to the railroad tracks on January 31 a 4 p.m.

The public is invited to a dedication ceremony for the Robert Johnson Blues Trail Marker installation and the mural painting, Hazlehurst Homes and Heroes. To be held at the Pavilion on Ragsdale Street on January 31 at 4 pm, the dual ceremony will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Copiah County.

Blues fans around the world celebrate Robert Johnson as the King of the Delta Blues. Famous musicians, like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, have acknowledged the influence of Johnson on their work. His face graces a US postage stamp, festivals across the world are held in his name, and more than one or two lawsuits have been filed over the two photographs known to have been made of the musician. Now Mississippi is bringing to light the importance of the birthplace of this renowned celebrity.

The Blues Trail promises to entice blues fans from around the world to discover the musical culture so rich in Mississippi. A few weeks ago, Crystal Springs performed a dedication to Tommy Johnson and now Robert Johnson is honored. Copiah County is among some of the first wave of designated locations.

Along with the dedication of Robert Johnson’s birthplace to the Blues Trail will also be the dedication of a mural painting completed in the fall of 2007 on the wall facing the post office belonging to June Thorne. The mural, Hazlehurst Homes and Heroes, depicts nationally recognized cultural icons that have connections with Hazlehurst homes. Included are images of Mary Tillman Smith, Robert Johnson, and Beth Henley.

A reception at the Heritage House will follow the ceremony. Refreshments will be provided by Antioch Baptist Church.

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