Small Town America
Small towns especially in rural areas are slowly becoming extinct. Large chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, and others are a major contributing factor. There were a time you could hardly find walking room on the sidewalks on weekends and holidays. Louisville and Noxapater now have a large number of vacant buildings. Brooksville and Shuqualak, MS no long have any stores open for business on main street.
Small towns depend on sales tax to operate. Seven cents on the dollar is collected on most sales and sent to Jackson and 18% is returned to the town. For example, if Noxapater has $500,000 in sales for a month, $35,000 is sent to the Mississippi Tax Commission in Jackson. They return $6,300 to Noxapater to repair streets, pay for electricity to operate lights, salaries, supplies, police protection and more.
The Noxapater Hardware closed no long ago. It was real convenient to go and pickup a screw, nut, bolt, or other small item as you need them. But on the other hand many people would shop for larger items that cost more in the large stores or online. Therefore sending the sales tax out of Noxapater. The same effect goes on in our grocery store. It is handy to go and get an item when you run out of it in the kitchen. Then go to the large chain store and fill a shopping cart. The next time you buy groceries out of town, walking a long distance to find what you want and standing in a long line to pay out to someone on part time pay without benefits, think about the pot holes that need repair or having to call the sheriff for a fender bending accident instead of the local police officer.
It really does pay to shop at home. Vowell's at Noxapater has the best and freshest meat that can be bough anywhere and it does not come from China or some foreign country.
In response to Jimmy Mangrum’s response (October 2, 2019) to the article I wrote ‘Door to No Return’ (September 4, 2019). Mangrum, I am aware that some of the chiefs of Africa collaborated with the Europeans in the transatlantic slave trade which was a crime against humanity. In this collaboration, 10 million to 28 million Africans were bought to the Americas and Caribbean to become slaves. More than a million are believed to have died in transit across the so-called “middle passage” due to inhumane conditions aboard slave ships. Some were thrown overboard and some ships sank. After arriving here, the slaves lived a life of brutality as they were over worked; had not freedom; were not considered a human; no civil rights; separated from their families; and they endured this for hundreds of years as a race. My abolitionist hero, Sojourner Truth in her biography stated, “I have borne 13 children, and seen most all sold off into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me!” Where were the Christians and missionaries?
It is hypocrisy for one who claims to be a Christian to say that Africans were better off here because of the poverty in Ghana and I suppose other places. Mangrum, you know there is no comparison to our life today and that of our ancestors’ lives as slaves when they were bought here. I am surprised that your friend who lives in Ghana would make such a statement about how Blacks live in America today. He should read or revisit some Black History books and literature or talk with people who have lived through not only slavery (through their ancestors) , but Jim Crow laws (which started after the end of Reconstruction and continued until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed), police brutality, low paying jobs, poor schools, lynching, assassinations, discrimination (even until today), and civil rights movements fighting for our rights as American citizens which. Even though we don’t have Jim Crow laws to contend with presently, institutional racism exists in all of our institutions in America. You might not be as conscious of that as African Americans are. I personally have endured discrimination from a child who grew up here in Louisville for it to continue as I migrated to the north for better opportunities. Tell your friend in Ghana, that we continue to fight for our civil rights for equality and justice. What he saw when he came here has taken over 400 years.
I am also aware that in 1994, Ghana’s President Jerry Rawlings apologized for the African role in slavery. He was the leader and other chiefs slowly followed and gave their own apologies. Who is to say that Ghana would be a poverty stricken area if the brightest, the best, the strongest had not been taken from there and other places in Africa? They have let it be known that they had nothing to do with the slave trade within the United States. Many African Americans that have taken that first trip, come back feeling proud that they really learned what their ancestors endured after passing through the Door of No Return to survive, fight and thrived. Mangrum, are you one to think that because we want to go there for the experience, that we don’t appreciate being in America. That is not true! We are no different than Italian, Frenchmen, or any others who want to embrace their heritage. Is there a law against that?
None of the people that went on the trip to Ghana stated that they wanted to live there or return to stay. Many of us feel that something is missing because of our lack of knowledge about where our ancestors came from and want to visit Africa. This gives one a sense of awareness about their identity. My grandfather was a slave born in America and it would be enlightening to know where other ancestors came from in Africa. How dare you say that we should be grateful that Jesus bought us to America as slaves? Most of us are grateful to be in America now but the Jesus I worship, who loved my ancestors, did not bring them here. The barbaric greedy Europeans bought them here. You misunderstood what the visitor said about coming back to America to ‘fuel the fight’. I understood her to mean to ‘fuel the fight’ for our civil rights as she became stronger and prouder from the trip. If you are paying attention, this is a continuous fight for us. We know that our right to vote is being suppressed. The state of Georgia should have Stacey Abrams as Governor but African Americans’ right to vote was suppressed in that election. You said, “We don’t need that spirit of fight here in America. We need peace, pulling together, and respect for each other;…” Sir, we have to fight for civil rights in order to have peace and justice for us and our descendants. It would help if people like you would speak up and help with laws to ensure that we all have equal rights. Yes, I know that we send out thousands of Christian missionaries but are they ministering to the leaders of our nation who seem to be bringing about destruction and division to our nation, presently? Why don’t we pull together and stop that from happening. Please reread my original article for a better understanding.