I know people don’t like outsiders. I know there is something to say for the whole “born and raised” thing, but I have to admit, I was neither born, nor raised in Mississippi. Mississippi was so far down the list (#50) in places I thought I would end up after college that doing something like writing a blog to describe how I feel about the city of Jackson is a very surreal experience for me. I have been living among you Jacksonians, I have learned your ways…I must attest however, that I am a fraud.
Or am I?
If you thought for some reason I was going to get around working Cloud Atlas into this blog you are sorely mistaken.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is in my top 5 books of all time. OF ALL TIME. I came to Lemuria bookstore for the first time to purchase a copy of the paperback and was completely blown away to find a bookstore like Lemuria existing in such a weird, unlikely place. From the moment you walk up the steps and see the store, you are greeted by something pretty magical. The bookstore put Jackson up one notch in my book. It was now at notch one.
After a while, more and more of the city began to reveal itself in strange and amazing ways. Fondren was the main selling point in my agreement to move here, but the people are what kept me around. It’s very easy to make assumptions about a place, or group of people you absolutely know nothing about. I think that may be the biggest reason the perception of Jackson is all “PRAY FOR JACKSON” or “I WENT TO JACKSON AND GOT REKT.” I was guilty of this thinking, but then I left my house. I did what John Evans and Ken Murphy, and all of us at Lemuria are proposing with Jackson: Photographs by Ken Murphy- I experienced the city that is just waiting for people to take the time.
What makes a person “from somewhere”? Some people will start the conversation with, “You need to have been born there.” If that is their argument, then yes, I am a Jacksonian Fraud. I should say that I think they are absolutely wrong before I go any further. You see, I was born in the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but nothing about that city feels like home to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city and it has come a long way in my 24 years of existence, but it has never really resonated with me. I’ve spent significant portions of time in New Orleans, LA, Berkley, CA, and St. Louis, MO and I feel like those cities are much more responsible for shaping me into who I am, and will eventually become. Now I am a resident of Jackson, MS. Four years ago I came to Jackson for a girl, and she was convinced the city would grow on me, and for years she was wrong. Today, she is absolutely correct. I’m here because I want to be, and this city deserves people that want to be here regardless of where they come from, or where they want to be.
There is plenty to love here in Jackson. Lemuria has made it pretty easy for everyone to get started with this book. So…
Written by Andre
Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!
Written by Andre