I spent last week in northern Minnesota with a camp of Water Protectors along the Mississippi River. The Indigenous, women-led movement is currently working to stop construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline. I went, specifically because I wanted to learn more. I went because I want to get better at hearing Indigenous voices. I went because I have heard the Water Protectors called radical, and I’ve been around the block often enough to know that when that word is […]
It was a quiet drive from Oxford to Sumner, Mississippi. Karen was busy and I drove the 70 miles by myself. I don’t think I said more than a few words all day. Mostly, I read signs. And I’m going to let the signs do most of the talking today. A sign in front of the Tallahatchie County Courthouse says: “Emmett Till Murder Trial. In August 1955 the body of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth from Chicago, was found […]
A Peace of My Mind visited Oxford, Mississippi’s country courthouse, where a contested Confederate statue stands at the center of the town square. We asked people, “What does this statue mean to you?” Over two afternoons, 36 people chose to participate and these are the stories they shared.
Elaine Baker grew up in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Founded in 1887 by former slaves, Mound Bayou is the oldest self-governing all-black municipality in the United States. Elaine grew up in an era of segregation, with “white only” and “black only” signs in neighboring communities, though she didn’t experience day-to-day racism in Mound Bayou. She learned that her value and worth were not determined by others. As a young girl, she picked cotton for 2.5 cents a pound and went on […]