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Old 01-04-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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I have family down there and they say it's horrible, they're from around Greenwood. is it really that bad? i kind of want to go there.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:35 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,458 posts, read 8,476,946 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genoo View Post
I have family down there and they say it's horrible, they're from around Greenwood. is it really that bad? i kind of want to go there.
Yeah, it's that bad. Greenwood, Greenville, Indianola - they're all the pits. My daughter lived in Greenwood for a couple of years.

The public school system has been abandoned by virtually everyone who could afford an alternative.
Most stores have bars on the windows.
I suppose there are crime statistics that speak for themselves.

So, while I won't encourage you to raise your family there, I will encourage you to go visit.

During the 1940's, 50's and 60's there was a mass exodus from Mississippi by black people. Actually, it happened before that, too, but the civil rights struggles fueled the departure of many of our (Mississippi) best citizens, and they took with them their desire for higher education and their accompanying work ethic.
It would be neither correct nor politically expedient to say that "all we were left with was the dregs", so I'll have to say that all that draining of society left its mark. Mississippi and the delta was grievously harmed by its own actions.

I go to and through the delta all the time. I speak to people, leave my car (OK, pickup) unlocked and take no extra precautions of any sort. I am white, so I ignore the hostile countenance presented to me when I order at McDonalds. Nothing has ever been said to me, understand, about me being the only white person in the restaurant, and as I said, I take no precautions but I am keenly aware that that is the case.

The basic problem, wrote a discouraged social worker some years ago, is that many of the people in that area see life as something that just happens to them. The idea that they might be an active participant in their own life is as foreign to them as the idea of leaving the area.

So, go, I say. Pack up your toothbrush and your Teddy Bear and go see for yourself. Try to understand the root cause of the problems there and try to present yourself as an alternative to some kid's dead-end life. If you are white try to imagine how black folks felt when they were denied admission to the very restaurants you will patronize. And if you are black be aware that some kid is watching you wondering if she could be what you are.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: MICHIGAN
211 posts, read 490,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Yeah, it's that bad. Greenwood, Greenville, Indianola - they're all the pits. My daughter lived in Greenwood for a couple of years.

The public school system has been abandoned by virtually everyone who could afford an alternative.
Most stores have bars on the windows.
I suppose there are crime statistics that speak for themselves.

So, while I won't encourage you to raise your family there, I will encourage you to go visit.

During the 1940's, 50's and 60's there was a mass exodus from Mississippi by black people. Actually, it happened before that, too, but the civil rights struggles fueled the departure of many of our (Mississippi) best citizens, and they took with them their desire for higher education and their accompanying work ethic.
It would be neither correct nor politically expedient to say that "all we were left with was the dregs", so I'll have to say that all that draining of society left its mark. Mississippi and the delta was grievously harmed by its own actions.

I go to and through the delta all the time. I speak to people, leave my car (OK, pickup) unlocked and take no extra precautions of any sort. I am white, so I ignore the hostile countenance presented to me when I order at McDonalds. Nothing has ever been said to me, understand, about me being the only white person in the restaurant, and as I said, I take no precautions but I am keenly aware that that is the case.

The basic problem, wrote a discouraged social worker some years ago, is that many of the people in that area see life as something that just happens to them. The idea that they might be an active participant in their own life is as foreign to them as the idea of leaving the area.

So, go, I say. Pack up your toothbrush and your Teddy Bear and go see for yourself. Try to understand the root cause of the problems there and try to present yourself as an alternative to some kid's dead-end life. If you are white try to imagine how black folks felt when they were denied admission to the very restaurants you will patronize. And if you are black be aware that some kid is watching you wondering if she could be what you are.
That is very sad, I never knew that about the blacks and the civil rights movement in Mississippi. It's not that I haven't heard about such things, I learned about some of it in school. It's not that I never cared, I have ALWAYS found racism to be despicable. I guess I just never had the opportunity to hear it from someone who sees the repercussions of it up close and personal. How desperate they must be to believe that life is nothing more than a miserable existence to be merely tolerated, void of joy and hope for a better life. It sounds like they need the Gospel, to know that God loves them and wants to bless them! But I would imagine that churches are plentiful in Mississippi. What can be done for these people? We may soon be moving to Bay St. Louis. Is that near the Delta you are speaking about? What would you suggest we could do, we want to be a blessing and be used of God wherever we go.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:26 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,458 posts, read 8,476,946 times
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Originally Posted by ShabbyChick View Post
That is very sad, I never knew that about the blacks and the civil rights movement in Mississippi. It's not that I haven't heard about such things, I learned about some of it in school. It's not that I never cared, I have ALWAYS found racism to be despicable. I guess I just never had the opportunity to hear it from someone who sees the repercussions of it up close and personal. How desperate they must be to believe that life is nothing more than a miserable existence to be merely tolerated, void of joy and hope for a better life. It sounds like they need the Gospel, to know that God loves them and wants to bless them! But I would imagine that churches are plentiful in Mississippi. What can be done for these people? We may soon be moving to Bay St. Louis. Is that near the Delta you are speaking about? What would you suggest we could do, we want to be a blessing and be used of God wherever we go.
What we call the delta is actually the Mississippi flood plain. It is the area of Mississippi North of I-20 and South of Memphis at the extreme western edge of the state. I have never found why it is called the delta; properly speaking the delta would be the area around New Orleans.
That area used to flood regularly - check out the old movie "Old Man" to see depictions of the famous flood of around 1920 - but it doesn't really flood anymore.
I wouldn't want you to view the residents of the delta as joyless and unhappy. To be sure, some of them are, but by and large they are merely people who happen to live in a very poor area. Nothing more. As I said the exodus began in the 40's, but it continues to this day with the very best leaving. Just like it is happening in Detroit, for instance.
I have been to every corner of America. The poverty in the Mississippi delta is really no worse than what I have seen in parts of West Virginia, and Missouri, and Oklahoma. It's just that in Mississippi, the problem is spread over a larger - much larger - area.
When you get a chance you should go visit. The Blues as a form of music came from this area and was invented by many people who are still alive, although their numbers are dwindling. And if you read through some of the Mississippi threads you'll find several places mentioned that you could visit. My wife occasionally goes to 2 day cooking schools hosted by Paul Deen, and they are held in that area. Morgan Freeman is from the delta, and he has a restaurant there. There is something for everyone who has an active and open mind, I think.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: MS
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Originally Posted by ShabbyChick View Post
Is that near the Delta you are speaking about? What would you suggest we could do, we want to be a blessing and be used of God wherever we go.
No. In the map below, the left hand side shows the states as well as the MS river. The delta portion is in white. It is flat, farm land. I grew up in the southeastern most county in AR so I know all about delta life. The summers are oppressive with heat and humidity. The temps get a little better at night but that's when mosquitoes come out. They will carry you away. The delta runs into the county I currently live in as well. When driving on I-69, you come off a hill and there is flat land for as far as the eye can see.

There are two groups of people. 1. The ones who realize how bad the situation is and try to make a better life for themselves. That can mean staying local but most leave like I did. 2. The ones that get by day to day. They don't think they will have a future so they don't plan for it. They probably don't even think about tomorrow. You aren't going to this group unless you catch them when they are young.


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Old 01-05-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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having lived in greenville all my life, i can tell you the problem is that nearly everyone here who cares has left already. the ones who are left care only about what will put money in their own pocket with the least amount of work on their part.

the racism is rampant here as it ever was, EXCEPT it is now black against white. back when it was the other way around the whites were the majority of population, but now blacks outnumber whites at least 3 to 1, 10 to 1 in some small towns. and they are quick to act racist against any white they can. JUST like whites did their ancestors and parents, no different. there are a few black leaders who are actually trying to turn aruond the majority, but whether that will happen will be something to see.

crime rates are horrible in town, out in the county areas it is much lower but still happens. my house was robbed last year during a string of burglaries in the county. those folks were white, i knwo who did it but neither the SO nor I have enough evidence for their arrest. generally in town burglaries are black perps, in county are white.

and the WORST 2 things about the delta are the heat/humidity and the mosquitoes. dew points during july/august are in the mid to upper 70's, what is deemed dangerous by the national weather service.

there is a rich heritage of blues here. i highly recommend if you come you visit some of the many blues bars/clubs, you will enjoy it and find they are some of the few true "colorblind" places here.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:04 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
1,961 posts, read 3,154,639 times
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Originally Posted by gvillesux View Post
the racism is rampant here as it ever was, EXCEPT it is now black against white. back when it was the other way around the whites were the majority of population, but now blacks outnumber whites at least 3 to 1, 10 to 1 in some small towns. and they are quick to act racist against any white they can. JUST like whites did their ancestors and parents, no different. there are a few black leaders who are actually trying to turn aruond the majority, but whether that will happen will be something to see.
No different? Did you actually say "No different?"

The white people that remain in the Delta have all the nice houses (paid for by 100s of years of free labor, no doubt), they have all the few decent well-paying jobs in the area (because they wouldn't think of letting Blacks into those jobs), and they send their kids to private schools (that they can afford because of the 100s of years of free labor), while the Black kids are forced to public schools with poor teachers, poor facilities, and no hope.

You say the racism being demonstrated by the Black residents is the same as it was when the Whites were the majority. Hmm, I'm pretty sure I would have heard about numerous White women being raped by Blacks and the offenders being freed by all-Black juries. I haven't heard of random White men being found hanging from trees, while Blacks gathered around the body for a picnic lunch.

Of course the Black people in the Delta are angry, and sometimes show out with a harsh word or dirty look, but to put their behavior in the same class as what happened in the Delta for the last several hundred years shows some true ignorance of history. Or a complete lack of empathy.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
190 posts, read 599,747 times
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I will add that drug and alcohol abuse in the delta is rampant, even among the more educated folks who should "know better". Until I met my wife a few years ago, I had very limited experience with the delta, but since then, I've had my eyes opened. When we go for a visit to the small town she is from, I used to do my daily jogging, but after a handful of times I gave that up, due to numerous random gunshots, various residents of the town seemingly "aiming" for me with their vehicles, and members of my wife's family being told they weren't welcome past a certain street and they would not be safe, particularly after dark. GVille paints a pretty accurate picture of the current state of delta life.

The government heavily subsidizes delta life, and many of the nicer houses are in fact being bought with government money, then often rented out and that rent being paid for with more government money. Due to the farming / land ownership in the area also being subsidized and businesses patronized by customers paying with funds from the government, a large number of the population has their pockets lined directly or indirectly by the government, which is why there isn't enough support to bring about any real change in the area. It really is a sad and pathetic situation.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: MICHIGAN
211 posts, read 490,030 times
Reputation: 74
Thank you all for the information, it is very eye opening. While I have always believed that racism in any form is completely wrong, part of me can't really blame blacks if they have an intolerant attitude toward whites. Particularly in the South with such deep poverty among blacks, while whites are doing well! It makes me very sad. The way that they were treated (maybe still are sometimes?) makes me ashamed to be white sometimes, does that make sense? Of course racism isn't the only reason that the Delta is doing poorly, and Detroit is a perfect example of another city that has seemingly given up hope.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:35 AM
 
Location: MS
4,279 posts, read 4,065,226 times
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Originally Posted by covedweller View Post
I will add that drug and alcohol abuse in the delta is rampant, even among the more educated folks who should "know better".
Every time we get an update from our hometown area, there is a new list of people who are in re-hab, just got out of re-hab or currently hooked on prescription drugs or meth.
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