Sunday, March 4, 2012

We're Going to Jackson

City Hall with a statue of, who else, Andrew Jackson
Well, we went to Jackson.  It was great!  The last but certainly not the least stop on this whirlwind tour of the South.  Some amazing things to see in Jackson.

The Old Capitol
The Medgar Evers' House--he was shot and killed in his driveway the early morning of June 12, 1963 after coming home from a meeting with NAACP lawyers.  He was the field secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi, helped African-Americans register to vote and was carrying t-shirts that read "Jim Crow Must Go" when he was shot by Byron de la Beckwith, a White Citizens' Council member and later member of the KKK.  Beckwith was not successfully convicted until 1994.  The house tells an important part of the story of the broader civil rights struggle and bears witness to the violence and sacrifice of that struggle in Mississippi.

Not far from Evers' house is the house of one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, Eudora Welty.  After Evers' assassination, Welty wrote the story "Where Is The Voice Coming From" as a response.  The story is told by a white racist assassin who kills an NAACP worker in a Mississippi town called Thermopylae.  It appeared in the New Yorker on July 6, 1963.

Welty's house and gardens are kept just as they were when she lived there--she moved in with her family in 1925 and was there until her death in 2001.  Her niece, Mary Alice, was there when I visited and I had the great pleasure of meeting her, as well as my guide Michael and the staff of the house.  It was a wonderful visit and I was really warmly received.

And the camellias were all blooming!  They are gorgeous--the gardens are kept much as they were by Welty herself, an avid gardener.

Okay, these are azaleas, no?
These are camellias!

And last but far from least of my day in Jackson was a visit to the amazing Lemuria Books!  I would have brought Clovis, too, but it was in the 80s and I didn't want to leave Clovis in the car (you understand).  They were missing Clovis, though, so I promised to bring him next time.  Huge thanks to Anna, Claire, Maggie, Joe and everyone else at the beautiful Lemuria Books in Jackson for a great event!  Anna at Lemuria's father photographed Welty's garden, it turns out, for this amazing book that is worth checking out for gardening fans!

Now, this is a lot of books!
And here is young Clovis, ready to hit the road back to Providence early the next morning!

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