On May 31st I drove into Jackson, Mississippi to create my radical homeplace for the next couple days. My larger project is to explore Mississippi with my co/researcher Etesta on my mind. Mississippi is where Etesta spent the first 12 years of her life.
With Jackson being the capital of Mississippi, I am interested in the politics, the news, the economic policies, the education system, and the feel of the town. Additionally, Jackson is overwhelming a chocolate city. Named after once president and slave owner Andrew Jackson, Jackson is now known by the slogan: “Jackson, Mississippi: City with Soul.” This slogan was given to the city because Jackson has been the epicenter of numerous prominent blues, gospel, and jazz musicians.
Located in the Northeast corner of Mississippi on the Pearl River, Jackson is one of the few capital city in the U.S. to sit atop of a volcano. The Jackson Volcano is rumored to have been extinct for the last 66 million years.
It is only fitting that as I study my mother’s story I start in a place where the earth once turned with lava. As I journey around the city of Jackson today I hope to find Etesta in the people, food, and weather.