Monday, August 29, 2022

Mississippi Native Thomas J. Warren Picked to Design Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument

Agreement supported by Natchez Board of Aldermen

Thomas J. Warren
Warren Sculpture Studios Inc

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument Committee has chosen Rolling Forks native Thomas J. Warren of Warren Sculpture Studios Inc., in Rogue River, Oregon, to lead the design phase of its monument project.
Warren, who has 36 years of experience working on sculptures and monument designs, said he welcomes the opportunity to work on the Natchez project.
“I am very excited about working on the Natchez U.S. Colored Troops Monument design,” he said Thursday. “I can’t wait to get back to my home state of Mississippi to visit with the community and stakeholders to learn what they want to see in this important monument to American heroes.”
Warren will soon visit Natchez as part of his research. He will meet with supporters and others with a vested interest in the project. He will, among other things, create a conceptual and schematic design for the monument, according to Robert Pernell, chairman of the Natchez USCT Monument Committee.
Pernell said the selection of Warren is another major step in the committee’s progress to honor more than 3,000 African American men who served at Fort McPherson during the Civil War.
“We’re getting closer and closer to our goal,” Pernell said. “We’re sharing this recent news so that we can keep the public, our supporters, and elected officials informed of our progress. Our aim is to be transparent.”
The committee’s selection of Warren received support Tuesday, Aug. 23, from the Natchez Board of Aldermen, following a presentation by Pernell and Lance Harris, chairman of the Monument Design Subcommittee.
Speaking after the meeting, Harris said that he and members of his subcommittee are happy that the full committee, including the city of Natchez, support working with Warren Studios. “I’m excited to begin work on this first phase of this project,” he said.
Harris explained that at the end of the project, “we will have a conceptual design and schematic design, as well as cost estimation that can be used for fundraising efforts as we get ready for the next phase.”
Mayor Dan Gibson said he was impressed by Warren’s previous work.
“We are so pleased by the unanimous selection of this outstanding Mississippi artisan,” he said. “Mr. Warren’s portfolio of past projects speaks to his talent and passion, especially in the area of celebrating the African American history of our country. This will be a monument all can take pride in.”
Warren is a graduate of Mississippi College. He has created 53 public art works in 20 states and Canada. His past works have included monuments of Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, John Lewis, among other historic figures.
Earlier this year, the committee chose the Natchez Bluff, at the corner of Madison and Broadway streets, as the site for the proposed USCT monument.
In a unanimous vote in March, the Natchez Board of Aldermen approved the location contingent upon approval of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Natchez Preservation Commission.
Pernell, who formerly chaired the committee for the Parchman Ordeal monument, said he is grateful to his subcommittees and chairs who have worked hard on the USCT Monument Project. “I am proud of them, and I appreciate their contributions, which have allowed us to reach this phase of the project,” he said.
A community meeting on the monument design will be held sometime between the end of September and the beginning of October, according to Harris.
For more information on the Natchez USCT Monument Project, visit The works of Warren Studios can be viewed at

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Coahoma Community College Writing Seminar

I was thrilled to participate as a presenter for this program today (Friday, June 21, 2024) in Clarksdale, Miss. (Click on images to enlarge.)