Immediately after the end of the Civil War in 1865, newly freedmen and women all across the South began celebrating freedom with parades, ceremonies and special events. This documentary film is a story of black Americans and citizens in Natchez, Mississippi and Vidalia, Louisiana who have been marching to the Natchez National Cemetery to celebrate black military service since 1889. On it's 127th year, it's one of the longest-running Memorial Day celebrations in the country. Full of amazing characters, perseverance and a will to honor the fallen and those who served, the people of these two communities have established an incredible American legacy and tradition of remembrance, celebration and memorialization.
30th of May tells the history and origin of this 150 year old parade from origin to present day!
Four story arcs chronicling the 127 year history of "30th of May" march/procession to the national cemetery in Natchez. Begins in 1863 with the formation of USCT regiments in Natchez to the first procession in 1889 to the modern day march and ceremony. The documentary film has four distinct segments: It's Freedom Time (1863-1888), The Sermon on the Water (1889-1939), Mr. 30th of May (1940-2001) and Louder than Thunder (2002-present)
For over 100 years, the city of Natchez had two Memorial Day celebrations---one black and one white. By the mid-1990's, the white celebration faded away, while the black celebration known as the "30th of May" continued to march on.
Virtually unknown outside of the region, this annual event is passed down from generation to generation giving evidence that the roots of patriotism run deep in the Mississippi River towns of Vidalia, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi.
Using animation, archival and aerial footage, and interviews with veterans, organizers and participants, the "30th of May"documentary brings to life the remarkable untold story of this African American-led patriotic tradition in the Deep South. The film's original score captures the spirit of the 30th of May.