Focused on Mississippi: Passing along our history

News

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Decades ago one building was a dry cleaning plant at 5 Points near the Jackson Mall. But for several years, it has been Johnny Morrow’s man cave, where he houses his collections of collections. It includes cars and some things he’s picked up at garage sales.

Well, the other day he called me and said some friends were dropping by and I might want to meet them. First, over in his sports collection, popped in Rodney Phillips, Nolan Smith and Eddie Peyton, who are all former NFL greats. These guys are history makers themselves. But I was impressed at who they thought should really be recognized.

“I don’t think we need to be talking about the guys, the pro football players as much as we should be talking about the coaches. The high school coaches. They was like our parents at home. They made sure that we ate right, we got our proper sleep. Everybody’s standing on somebody’s shoulders.”

And consequently, you grow up to have your picture on somebody’s wall. Same with our musicians. Malcolm Shepherd and Abdul Rasheed from the Central Mississippi Blues Society and Bobby Rush had some words about how other music forms grew out of Mississippi Delta blues.

“The blues and country both talk about a good man feeling bad. Now Muddy Waters said the blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll. Because if you don’t like the blues you probably don’t like your mama. Because it is the root of all music.”

Bobby Bill Benford was there, the first black car salesman hired by an all-white dealership in Jackson back in the day. But here is the reason for Black History Month: the new kid, Chris. He works works with Johnny and painted historic scenes on his dinning tables.

“I’m familiar with Dr. King, but I’m just learning a little bit about Mr. James Meredith,” said Chris.

That’s the reason to teach black history or American History or World History, all these things we grew up with. But that was a generation or two ago. The new kids coming along don’t inherit our knowledge. We have to tell them. And tell them now because we are eyewitnesses to a lot of it.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories