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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Mississippi Tourism

Those who have been reading this blog for awhile know about my fascination with Mississippi tourism and blues. Tunica Mississippi has put out a press release about a new highway maker devoted to Son House. I think that Mississippi is on to something. By celebrating blues heritage and promoting tourism Mississippi is helping to keep alive a rural economy. Mississippi has a lot of blues history to promote so it is a good thing. Although all of this good news about blues tourism in Mississippi must be tempered with the realism that most of those great blues players left Mississippi! As good as Mississippi might be to the blues today, in the past race relations in the deep south was abysmal. African American who could leave, did leave and headed north for jobs, and better (although slightly better) living conditions. The north still had discrimination and some areas had Jim Crow laws like the south, but lynch mobs, and violence were less frequent in the north than the south. So while it is important to celebrate the blues in the south, it is also important not to forget why there was blues in the first place.

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