Mississippi

courtney oatsEditor's Note: Standing up for justice runs in Courtney Oats' family.  The 21-year old college student in Eupora, Mississippi is the great niece of Fannie Lou Hamer, and has been a community organizer since her teens.

Jesmyn Ward of Delisle, Mississippi, recently won the prestigious National Book Award for her novel about "a poor black family living and loving in a rural backwater Gulf Coast town in the days before Hurricane Katrina." In an interview with Julianne Hing of Colorlines, she talks about writing about the "fraught and lovely and important" lives of poor folks and black folks and rural fol

By Raleigh Hoke, Gulf Restoration Network.  Originally posted on October 20th, 2011. On Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of joining a bus load of fired-up Mississippi Power ratepayers from the coast on a trip to Kemper County, Mississippi – the proposed site for a massive new dirty lignite coal mine.

Two days after a tornado tore through Eupora, Mississippi, Cherraye Oats set out with her daughter Courtney to get tarps for their neighbors’ battered homes.  Oats’ house was spared, but the mobile home 20-year-old Courtney rented was destroyed.  “If my daughter had not spent the night with us, we probably would have been burying her.”

Each week, the public radio show State of the Re:Union tells the story of "how a particular American city or town creates community."  This fall, Host Al Letson and Producer Tina Antolini devote an episode to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

According to the State of the Re:Union website:

In the aftermath of BP oil drilling disaster, it seemed that an overwhelming (albeit needed) amount of attention was given to restoring the environment, protecting animals, and the money – always the money.  Very little attention was given to actually providing health care to people impacted by the oil disaster or the response to the disaster.

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