This may be confusing for those who understand me to be in Mississippi. Since I’ve been here, I’ve discovered a few different things. First, people are inherently good. Anne Frank hit the nail on the head. I firmly believe that people are first and foremost ‘good.’ The generosity here has been overwhelming. Yesterday, I took a bus tour of the Mississippi Delta region. The tour stopped in Ruleville, MS (home of Fannie Lou Hamer, a key player in SNCC and the Civil Rights Movement). While we were visiting the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial, a women got on our bus simply to welcome us to Ruleville and to thank us for what we were doing for education in the Delta. I was floored (on one hand, because the non-TFA affiliated Yankee in front of me was making jokes about the woman’s accent). However, this woman’s kindness was so genuine and so so real. I was just speaking to my mother on the phone about how different things are down here. I told her that sometimes it feels like I am in the middle of the Third World, even though I’m technically in America. It’s so bizarre to me that so many Americans can justify going to developing countries and providing aid: which is so noble and important. I obviously think it’s important because I will be going to Tanzania, Africa in the winter to educate a community on HIV prevention. However, so many people in America don’t know that people down here are living in a time capsule of racism, class inequality, sexism, and abject poverty. It makes me wonder how we can focus on developing the rest of the country into the present while a piece of our nation lies so rooted in the past.
Happy Father’s Day to the just a few of the men I love the most.