Columbus to honor black businesses in Catfish Alley

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Columbus Mayor Robert Smith says the city hopes to place a monument to honor the black men and women who operated businesses on Fourth Street South between Main Street and College Street, commonly known as Catfish Alley.

Smith tells The Commercial Dispatch that plans are for a mid-April dedication.

The city is spending $25,000 for benches, trash cans, flower beds and new lights to the area.

But Catfish in the Alley, an annual event usually held during the last week of Black History Month, has been canceled for 2013 because of weather concerns. It will return in 2014.

Officials say the name Catfish in the Alley comes from a time when blacks would catch catfish out of the river, cook them and sell them in the alley all weekend.

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