It’s been 3 months since my last post, which is a longer break than I expected. I have had a series of experiences (good, bad, and strange) over the last 9 months, as I moved from the northeast to the south, after 10 years in the northeast. I currently reside in Jackson, Mississippi, where I work to fulfill my mission of democratizing financial services, particularly to ethnic minorities. My writing for TheLucesco has been a huge source for self-reflection, which led to my decision to move to one of the most blighted, blackest American cities.
The transition to the South has not been an easy one. I consider myself an “outsider” in many ways, namely my values and perspectives, even though most people here would consider me an “insider,” given that I was born and raised in Arkansas. It’s an interesting dichotomy that I’ll blog about as I work through my transition. The most recurring observation is that everything in Arkansas and Mississippi is rooted in politeness; people pride themselves in being polite, at all times and in all situations.
Fuck politeness. Politeness is not my highest priority. Being a good, honest person is. When someone says something offensive or wrong, I throw politeness out of the window; I see no point in being considerate towards someone who is being disrespectful toward any person or group of people. In most cases, I tend to ask pointed questions to ensure I’m not misinterpreting or misunderstanding the viewpoint.
The second most interesting thing that has occurred was I went to a restaurant/bar that was a former plantation house. Upon locking my car door, I was thinking, “holy shit, is this a fucking plantation?” I walked over some really large tree roots, which only further established, “yes, Kayla, this is a former plantation house.” I then went into joke mode — “I probably won’t be able to go inside.” I found the person that invited me — outside and under a big tree. Needless to say, this was the first bar that I went to where I didn’t have a drink — in solidarity of black people.