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Named for the 19th century explorer, Giovanni Battista Belzoni, the city of Belzoni is the county seat of Humphreys County, Mississippi. Originally, the area was known as Greasy Row, for the rows of saloons that lined the banks of the Yazoo River, a significant transportation route until water travel was replaced by the railroads. Although the community had been settled by European-Americans and African-Americans for decades previous, the town was not incorporated until 1895. When Humphreys County was organized in 1918, Belzoni was chosen to be its seat of government. In 1955, Belzoni was the site of the murder of an early Civil Rights activist, George W. Lee, a black minister who was registering blacks to vote in the Mississippi Delta. His killers were never found, and Mississippi Governor Hugh L. White refused to have the state look into the case. In 2006, the city elected its first black mayor, who was reelected to a second term. The community of Castleman is adjacent to Belzoni, while Brooklyn borders the city to the south.

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