Glendora, Mississippi

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Apologies for the lack of updates here the past couple weeks.  It's been busy trying to catch up on things after coming back from the traveling I did this month.  But I'm now back in my usual rhythm of New York City life and have some photos and stories I want to share with you.

It's amazing how ignorant one can be about the world growing up and living in NYC.  If American is a bubble from the rest of the world, NYC is its nucleus. I didn't have to go overseas, just a few hour plane ride down south in order to have my world shaken.  I went to Glendora, a town right along the bayou, in the heart of the Mississippi delta, with a population of about 300.  I arrived there with the goal to document some humanitarian work, but realized that I'll be doing much more than that.

I learned that Glendora has a significant place in history because it was where Emmet Till was murdered in 1955.  And the acquittal of the two white men who murdered Emmet Till, the outpouring of sympathy from his open casket funeral, and Emmet's mother Mamie Till's relentless activism were the sparks to ignite the civil rights movement.

Once I realized that I was standing in the wake of such a rich legacy, I also saw how much work still needs to be done. White men still have confederate flags hanging out of their pickup trucks, people are dying of strokes because they can't afford medical costs, and communities like Glendora as a whole are lost in the cracks with no basic infrastructure such as a police department.

But the words of Dr. Martin Luther King still stand true even after 40 years, and it's the hope I'm left with as Glendora stays on my mind and heart:

"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!


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