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Koni’s Quips: My Heart Is In Mississippi

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People have a lot of opinions about Mississippi.

It’s always looked at as one of the worst states in America. We’re known as the fattest state, but we honestly can’t help it because our food is so good! We were also known as the “dumbest” state until West Virginia took our spot. By the way, we’re down to number three so there’s a small victory. As someone who was born and raised in the Hospitality State, I can see the negatives and the positives in this state.

Let’s start with some negatives. Racism, poverty, the government are all big issues here. The South has a long history of racism that people will never forget. Though I have not experienced blatant racism, I have experienced some odd comments from white classmates and coworkers. And I won’t say our area isn’t racist. It is. Most of America is though. I have friends who have been treated worse up North than they have down here, but it really all depends on the people that are being dealt with.

Poverty and our government are definitely issues in Mississippi. I’ve talked about my struggles with finding a job in this state and some friends have the same issues. I feel that I don’t know as much about government as I should, but I know Mississippi has big problems. I talk to my friend Marty about it and he keeps me informed. Luckily, there are people here who want to make a change and I hope it works out.

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Now let’s get to the positives!

Mississippi has great scenery and places to visit. We also have great food, great music and a feeling of home. I’ve been to several places in my state and seen beautiful and interesting things. There are beautiful forests, gorgeous houses and beaches. Yes, Mississippi has beaches! My hometown of Grenada has one on our lake and we can’t forget about the Gulf Coast! There are interesting landmarks such as Tennessee Williams’ home in Columbus or Rowan Oak in Oxford.

Then there’s the food. There are plenty of places to get soul food. When I lived in Columbus, there was a place that had a $5 plate that consisted of meat, two vegetables and a sweet tea. I’d get chicken, mac and cheese, and yams. You can also try food from different cultures here if you want to branch out.

Do you love the blues? Do you love Big K.R.I.T.? Then you love Mississippi music! They don’t call us the “Birthplace of America’s Music” for nothin’! A lot of artists like Brandy and David Banner were born here and K.R.I.T. is always down to rep us. We also have other artists here who I hope to see make it big like Slimm Pusha and Luck.

And finally, there’s the feeling of home. As I mentioned earlier, Mississippi is known as the Hospitality State. I know people who were skeptical of visiting or passing through but later told me they enjoyed stopping in cities here. One friend told me she loved visiting the Coast while she was on her way to New Orleans. She also said the people at the restaurant she ate at were very nice and she’d come back again.

There are so many things I could tell you about Mississippi, but it may be better to experience it in person. Though I want to leave Mississippi and move on to different things, I will always have love for my home state. I hope to see it grow and I have no issue coming back to help once I become more established. I’ll never forget the state that nurtured me and it will always have a place in my heart.

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