Culture and Traditions

Undeterred by the blazing sun and high humidity of a mid-August afternoon in Biloxi, Mississippi, Tuat Nguyen and Bien Do moved nimbly around their shrimp boat, making last-minute preparations to leave for Lake Borgne, where the Louisiana shrimp season would open in a few days.

My city of Mobile, Alabama is a charming and picturesque Southern community. With its large antebellum homes and vast array of tall pine trees and massive oak trees overhanging Springhill Avenue, Mobile is a city that can rival any Southern city for beauty and scenery. However, the creative minds of the people of Mobile are one of the unique characteristics that elevate the city of Mobile above other Southern cities.

To commemorate the 155th anniversary of the beginning of the Africatown saga and the 154th anniversary of the landing of the last recorded shipment of slaves to this country, here is a summary of the "Africatown Story" from 1859 to today. (As told to me by Mr. Henry Williams as he taught Sunday School at Yorktown Baptist Church).

Last Friday, May 23rd, Louie Miller of the Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club emailed a number of friends and colleagues: "Sharing the tragic news that Linda St. Martin passed away at 9:30 this morning from complications due to chemotherapy. I would appreciate everyone taking a moment to reflect on Linda in honor of her body of work, passion, and commitment in service to the Sierra Club and the Gulf Community as a whole."

“The world must know what they [BP] have done to this community. This place could have been a paradise.” Those are the words of Byron Encalade, president of Louisiana Oystermen’s Association and the face of a beautiful and devastating new documentary film, Vanishing Pearls.

I caught up with Kimberly McCuiston, David Underhill, Patricia Hall and Michele Walker-Harmon of the Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition (MEJAC) during the regional Gulf Gathering, which was held in Fairhope, Alabama, April 13th through 15th.

According to their Facebook page, “MEJAC is a coalition of Mobile Bay residents and groups confronting new and longstanding environmental justice issues to cease toxic industrial pollution.”

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