Monday, Day 1: Introduction to Mississippi

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 1.10.26 PMFinally M-Term is here. As the most interesting and exciting term at Ross School, this year’s M-Term came much earlier than last year. For this year’s M-Term, I selected a community service trip to Mississippi state. We are heading to a local African-American community named Turkey Creek.

This is the first day of M-Term. We are not going to Turkey Creek until Wednesday, so all we are going to do today is to do some research on Mississippi State and Turkey Creek. As I’m doing my research, I realized that this trip to Turkey Creek is going to be so different than my last trip to Panama, which we didn’t really do much for Panama. Turkey Creek is a community established by slaves that are freed due to the Civil War. Although they were freed, people in the country, especially in Mississippi are not accepting them as a part of the community so African-Americans have to build their own lands to live. They bought 320 acres of land in North Gulfport and named it Turkey Creek. This is the origin of Turkey Creek. Turkey Creek is in a self-sufficient system that isolated them from the outside world. As Gulfport kept developing, the city started expanding to the North. As soon as an airport was built next to Turkey Creek, this land became much more valuable and the Federal Government started attempting to take over the land. However, this attempt is failed for sure as members of Turkey Creek community are so strongly united that the Federal Government cannot persuade them in any way.

Not long after people celebrated the success of saving their community, Hurricane Katrina heavily attacked Turkey Creek. Turkey Creek is not a highly developed community. In fact, it’s a self-sufficient community so people have to ask the Federal government to rebuild their homes. The government took this chance to build a market and toxic factory in the community.

What we are going to do there is to learn about the society there as well as help the community to do whatever they need. This the first time I ever participated in community service and I am really looking forward to it.

~ Hainiu (Johnny) X.