Today we watched a powerful documentary film about the struggles of Turkey Creek and the community’s efforts to overcome them with the help of Derrick Evans who shows how a great leader can make a difference. “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek” was created by filmmaker Leah Mahan and illustrates both social and environmental injustices that were imposed on this community. Many thanks to Leah Mahan who made the viewing of her film possible.
Tomorrow, we begin our adventure!
~ Mrs. Hanrahan and Mr. Drossel
Reflection on Film
Most people in Turkey Creek are Afro-American and they are trying to defend their land from the government. The government is cutting down trees and making the surrounding town more commercial. Government wants to make the town more modern. People in Turkey Creek are unsatisfied because the government is taking away their neighborhood.
Derrick Evans is a Boston teacher who moves home to Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors – former slaves who settled on the Gulf Coast in the 1860s, are being desecrated to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. He’s trying to help the people of this community preserve their heritage. His role is a leader in the battle to save Turkey Creek. In order to help save the town, he decided to fill out an application to ask for his and others’ homes to become a part of the National Register of Historic Places. He invited representatives of the local and state government to attend a town meeting and talk to people who live in the community. One of the things they discuss is the disregard for the wetlands and their environmental purpose. Wetlands are important for proper drainage. However, many in the government are just interested in progress, not believing this is true. Flooding from the river destroys some communities.
The state of Mississippi received funds from the Federal Government to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, but instead of rebuilding people’s houses, the government used the money to build some big buildings for profit, for the economy. The government will be able to gain a lot of benefits from this. If they cut down the trees, the environment will be destroyed.
~ Chengzhi (Martin) M.
Interesting link: Bridge the Gulf Project