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Old 03-31-2012, 03:54 PM
73,005 posts, read 62,585,728 times
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Mississippi is many things to different people. It is sometimes shaped by experience. For some, it can be shaped by family history. I have an old friend from a few years back. She has an open and somewhat outgoing personality, so when we first met, she we open about some of the stuff she told me. I learned that she was born and partially raised in California, but had lived in Mississippi and currently Georgia. She is mainly of Mexican descent with some White American ancestry. She She liked Mississippi the best. According to her, Mississippi seemed more polite, friendlier, and more culturally southern. My first reaction was "Mississippi"?

I think alot of it could have come from our family history, experiences, and acculturation. She comes from a middle class home. Her father had job that paid tremendously. Some people may have taken her for White(I did when I first met her). Her grandparents being from Mexico and going to California may have been a factor. Possibly, her parents may have not gotten any kind of preconceptions of Mississippi and when my friend went to Mississippi, she was young and had no preconceived notions of what Mississippi was like. I would also add that her personality might have helped her to fit in. She may have seen a different side of Mississippi that I have never seen.

I, on the other hand, have a different history. I also come from a middle class family and my father has a white collar job. I have lived in the western USA as well as the Deep South. However, the similarities end there. My grandparents are from Mississippi. They left Mississippi and went to the north. Their reasons were due to the oppression Blacks were going through in the Jim Crow era. My father, who was born and raised in the North, heard all kinds of bad things about Mississippi from his parents. He was also an adolescent during the Civil Rights movement and with Mississippi being in the news at the time, he heard even more bad things about Mississippi. My father went back to Mississippi a few times after to see old relatives. I also think that the fact that he was visiting the Mississippi Delta could have made a difference. Oxford is very different from Greenville or Columbus. Biloxi is also very different. I spent alot of my childhood in Georgia, some time in Savannah and the rest around the suburbs of Atlanta. I also never felt like I fit so easily. Given what my father has told me about Mississippi, I often wondered how I would fit in Mississippi.

For my friend, who considers herself a southern girl, Mississippi is home. For me, whose view of Mississippi is shaped by family history, Mississippi has a different meaning. I've also never lived there, and I'm not her, so her experience might be different from mine. Who is to say.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:05 PM
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Couldn't we ask the same question about any place? As a military spouse, I spend 17 years moving from one part of the country to the next. There were positive and negative aspects for each place I lived.

After my divorce I chose to move to my home state of Mississippi. I did this for many reasons (in no particular order):

1) I wanted to live on the coast
2) I wanted to be near family
3) I wanted to walk to the beach, shopping, restaurants and to work (I work at the middle school 5 blocks from my house). I might put 5 miles a day on my car
4) I wanted to do all of this safely
5) I wanted a friendly, small town atmosphere in which I could raise my son
6) I wanted to share the knowledge that I have gained through the years with children who are being raised in the place from which I come...my way of giving back
7) I wanted a lower cost of living
8) I wanted to be able to drive and hour east to New Orleans or 2 hours west to Pensacola Beach whenever I want
9) I wanted my son to experience the culture I grew up in: Mardi Gras, crawfish boils, Cajun food, live blues, sailing, sunshine, mild winters, walking barefoot in the sand
10) ....I could go on
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:03 AM
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Oh goodness! Why not? Mississippi has its faults, and there are times when the staunch conservative nature of many of Mississippi's politicians and citizens just chaps me raw. But, despite that, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. The people are nice, hardworking folks. The history (as dark as it can be, but what place doesn't have darkness in its past?) is rich and everywhere you look. The weather is almost perfect. Granted, our summers are long and hot, but our falls, winters, and springs are as close to perfection as you can get. And we lay claim to some of literature's best--Welty, Faulkner, Williams. My goodness, Mississippi has a lot to offer.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:04 PM
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I have never lived in Mississippi, but every time I travel through the state, I really like it. It's got plenty of natural beauty, and lots of room. There's also plenty of interesting history.

The one main thing Mississippi seems to lack is a vibrant economy & job growth. I never understood why your state political and business leaders have not been more aggressive in recruiting employers to the state like Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee have.

Of course, that low density and lack of industry helps preserve the natural beauty! I live in Houston, which is booming, but none of us are here for the scenery (there is virtually none). I have met quite a few folks from Mississippi who came here for jobs. If I could figure out how to maintain my standard of living, I'd trade Houston for a smaller town in Mississippi gladly.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:52 PM
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I am fascinated by Houston. As you say, the growth is stunning. I am particularly fascinated by how the suburbs have formed, virtually the opposite of the city with giant planned cities like the Woodlands and Sugar Land. Houston has gotten some great press recently; in the Wall Street Journal editorial page they ran an article on Houston's vibrancy compared to old cities like New York and Chicago. I think they said Houston had expanded by one-third since 2000 alone. Virtually all the growth is immigrants from what I understand, while the location population, especially with the low cost of living, has become the wealthiest in the nation.

Mississippi as you say does have its share of natural beauty. Many forests, rolling hills and cute towns. They have had some big successes recently recruiting industries such as Nissan and Toyota and their multi-billion dollars in investments. Fast growing and vibrant communities include Madison (similar to the Woodlands), Oxford (a mini-Austin), DeSoto County (booming Memphis suburbs), Tupelo and Hattiesburg (bustling smaller cities). The Coast has recovered from Katrina and is definitely on the rise. Towns such as Ocean Springs, Pass Christian, and Bay St. Louis are artsy, historic, and incredibly picturesque. Biloxi is a vibrant casino and beach town while Gulfport is expanding its port and renovating its downtown.

Another recent success story is Columbus/Starkville. They rose from a stagnant economy just 10 years ago to one of the "top 20" micropolitan areas in the U.S. for recruitment of major industries, favoring steel, helicopters, airplanes, tires, and truck engines. And Starkville is perhaps a mini-College Station, recently beginning its evolution into an artsy and bustling college town.

Other towns that are quite beautiful and are healthy economically include elegant Brookhaven and Laurel. Overall of course these towns are spaced far apart and as you say, in between are miles of trees, hills, and farms. Arthur Laffer ranks the states each year for tax and regulatory policies, from most growth-friendly to least. And Mississippi last year scored 10th best, next to Texas in the rankings. Mississippi's annual economic growth rate in recent years has been virtually identical to the national average. Based on those things, I feel hopeful that gradually over the next 20 to 30 years, Mississippi's progress will become increasingly visible. And by then, with incomes steadily rising, Mississippi indeed will be blessed with all the extra space and great weather, central location, and cute little towns. I really think Mississippi, given a bit more time (40 years) will enter its golden era, which I guess Texas is very much in now, especially Austin and parts of Dallas and Houston.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:14 PM
Location: NE Mississippi
25,567 posts, read 17,271,154 times
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Originally Posted by Houston parent View Post
.........The one main thing Mississippi seems to lack is a vibrant economy & job growth. I never understood why your state political and business leaders have not been more aggressive in recruiting employers to the state like Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee have......
Tennessee was actually one of the slowest growing states in terms of job growth. South Carolina was in the top 10, and Alabama & Mississippi were neither top 10 nor bottom 10.
The top state was North Dakota. It's not that politicians have done such a stellar job there; that's where the natural gas is! And that's what is fueling growth.

Only 1% of the US population lives in Mississippi. Our education system probably produces 10 professional athletes for every PhD. And they both leave the state. But I don't mind. I've seen pictures and read tales about what all those jobs are doing to North Dakota, and it's just not something I want to live with. And I've lived in Atlanta as well as Dallas, TX. I like it better here.
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