Welcome and Why

I returned from visiting Meridian, Mississippi, last month with my mind aswirl with impressions, thoughts, and memories.  I  lived in Mississippi and Alabama (with a couple of months in Atlanta) from 1964 to 1967.

Returning to Meridian after so many years away, I was thrilled to reconnect with old friends from the 60’s and to encounter young people  keenly interested in learning about the civil rights era in their town.

As I visited, I was constantly jolted to see how the present sheds light on what we thought in the past, while the past illuminates the present.  There are changes in Meridian we couldn’t have imagined in 1964, while the dark and hopeful past is ever-present, even when it is invisible to people living in Mississippi today.

I have pictures, documents and memories of my own from those years, but I am not interested in nostalgia.  I hope with this blog to tell my own and other people’s stories from the perspective of the present.    I hope my posts will be interesting to friends and family who have never lived in Mississippi, as well as to comrades from the 60’s and people who are living in Mississippi today. I definitely hope for comments and posts from others.

Special thanks to companions on my recent trip to Meridian:  Roscoe Jones, who has devoted his life to reviving the spirit of the Freedom Schools;  Mark Levy, whose friendly and persistent prodding encouraged me to delve into  my archives;  Bill Scaggs, who opened windows all over Meridian on places I didn’t even know to look for; Patti Miller, who persuaded me that I have stories worth telling; and Jackie Reed-Cockfield, for her affirmation that the human connections we made in 1964 endure.  Thanks also to my sister Beth, whose own jouney into the past provided me a template.

Note:  This is a “static” front page.  Newer posts are listed in reverse chronological order under Recent Posts on the upper left.

Comments

  • Hijo  On November 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Looks Great!

  • freedomsongs11  On November 20, 2011 at 12:24 am

    See if what I wrote fixes it.

  • Marj Zunder  On November 20, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Great beginning, Gail. I’m looking forward to reading lots more.

  • cefalk  On November 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Glad that we are sister bloggers. I remember our mother often saying that she did want to become nostalgic about the past, and wanted to focus on the present, but as you say there is a difference between nostalgia and exploring connections between past and present. I am really looking forward to reading your posts.

    • strat douthat  On November 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      i think bether meant your mom did NOT want to become nostalgic…both you and she need an editor (i work cheap)

  • Kristin Glaser  On November 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Gail: Glad you are doing this. More pictures, if possible. Kristin

  • Celine  On November 24, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Gail,
    This is just marvelous – wonderful writing, and really important material. And of course, humor, too (as in the line about being willing to die for the revolution, but maybe not for lack of sleep!)
    Hope this blog gets the attention it deserves.
    Celine Keating

  • Rick Rebmann  On December 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Gail, Thank you for giving me another chance to sign on for updates. I hadn’t noticed that opportunity below. It must feel gratifying that you were part of this important social transformation and to see now the long-awaited results of all those personal efforts on the part of so many people back when courage was the price of admission. Rick

  • Catherine Orr  On February 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Gail, thanks so much for writing this. I will be so happy to go along on this journey with you. Thanks, Catherine

    • freedomsongs11  On February 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      GlAd you got to take a look, Catherine. We got to hear the most amazing gospel choir rehearsal yesterday!

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