Technology allows virtual reality experience at Proud to Take a Stand – Mississippi’s Best Public Journal


Especially for The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ – Robert Pernell wants visitors to get more out of their visit to the Proud to Take a Stand at the corner of Jefferson and North Canal streets.

As chairman of the Proud to Take a Stand monument committee, he wants them to have an experience that is not only informative but also exciting, immersive and interactive.

Thanks to a new QR code, his wishes are possible, as visitors can now have a virtual reality experience from the history of civil rights presented on the site. The experience is made possible with the help of the mobile application TimeLooper, Xplore-AR.

“Virtually, technology transports the viewer to 1965, where they can witness history for themselves,” Pernell said. “It’s a new level of storytelling. Now people can experience the story on the spot or see it with the help of this virtual reality technology.

By simply scanning the QR code displayed on a small sign posted on the site in February, the visitor is given access to the Xplore-AR application.

Lance Harris, Commissioner and former president of Visit Natchez, who helped bring the experience to life, explained that the virtual reality experience is best viewed and optimized with a range of Google glasses or other viewing devices such as Oculus.

“Visit Natchez is proud to be committed to the Proud to Take a Stand Committee to create a compelling and unique experience that provides an important chapter in the history of our community,” Harris said. “This project would not have been possible without the Mississippi Tourism Rehabilitation Fund, adopted as part of the CARES Act. Everyone is very happy and excited about what I have gathered. ”

The Proud to Take a Stand is a 6-foot-tall granite structure that honors the citizens of Natchez-Adams County, who were unlawfully imprisoned in October 1965 to uphold basic civil and voting rights. It was completed in October 2019.

The monument is engraved with more than 500 names, according to Pernell. Many of these are the names of young men and women who were forcibly sent to Mississippi State Prison in Parchman in October 1965, where they were humiliated, punished and abused for several days. They became known as survivors of the Parchman Test.

Mayor Dan Gibson expressed gratitude for the monument and the new virtual reality feature. “We are so grateful to have this important monument in our city, ensuring that such a significant event in our history is properly honored,” he said. “The new TimeLooper feature will now take a visit to this monument to the next level.”

How to see the experience

The TimeLooper app allows visitors to see the full story of this historic event using a mobile device. Access is obtained by scanning the QR code in the lower right corner of the plate. The scan takes users to to download the Xplore app. Users can follow the steps below.

1. After downloading, select the “Parchman Ordeal” title. An AR Preview screen will appear. Click on this option.

2. Follow the instructions for “Scan your desk, floor or backyard”. As you scan and move your mobile device, a geographic image (map) will appear on your screen. At the bottom of the screen you will see instructions for “Touch the highlighted area to place the AR platform”.

3. You will then be asked to “Start Xploring” and “pinch the image to enlarge it”.

4. You’ll see a “Activate content by pinning your device” prompt. The “pin” will appear as a thin vertical white line with a circle at the top and extending upwards from the geographical image.

5. Using your finger, simply touch the pin and images of Parchman’s ordeal will appear, along with the voice of the narrator, who tells the story of this critical moment in the civil rights movement.

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