Southern Town Stuck in Time, Photo Essay

This photo essay tells a story of an small Southern town that was completely skipped over in the reconstruction phase. Agriculture is all its ever known, and it is quite obvious. Small farmers in this area have to delicately balance between providing for their families and putting money into updating their equipment to ensure their farming operation is successful. Farmers in this area are often stuck in sharecropping contracts that plague their profits, and the visual clues are everywhere. As you can see in these pictures, these towns are dying out due to the fact that there are no jobs for young people. If something doesn’t change, these towns will not have a population in 20-30 years.


Shot of a small southern town where farming is still the only business around

Another view of the small town

Mid 1900’s model tractor. Massey Ferguson

Seat shot of the Massey Ferguson tractor


Another Massey Ferguson tractor still in use today

John Deere 2510 mid 60’s model tractor. Although not typically still used by small farmers for big tasks such as tilling ground anymore, they are still in use to do odd jobs such as spin ditching and running PTO powered equipment

Another older model tractor that small farmers still depend on to accomplish basic tasks

A more modern tractor that small farmers are beginning to acquire. The use of technology has significantly reduced the amount of time it takes to accomplish the same task. With this set up, a full truck load could be deposited into the bin in less than an hour

Another example of how modern technology and equipment has changed the way farmers operate

Modern day tractors are able to till land several times faster than older one were able to. The constant pressure for increased yield pressures farmers to update their equipment as quickly as possible

This modern day combine could fill this trailer in under an hour, something that would have taken an entire day 50 years ago

Seat shot of a modern tractor. An example of the technology inside a tractor. Compare to 50 years ago in the photos above

Top view of a grain trailer filled with corn

Example of a southern soybean field. Notice the size is relatively small (compared to others in Mid West)

Example of a corn field in the South. Again, notice the many divides in the land due to creeks and waterways

An excellent example of a small Southern farmers inventory. Notice how quickly technology advanced, the small number of tractors, and how many of the old tractors are still necessary to the success of a crop





Southern Environmental Racism

We have been talking a lot about environmental racism lately, and it has really sparked my interest. While I do believe it is wrong, I have come to a conclusion, that in my opinion,  it is probably one of the problems that will be the most difficult to fix. Until technology gets better, and we somehow come up with a way to reduce waste to a minimal, we will always produce garbage.  Obviously, when we produce garbage, we have to do something with it. Currently, most of the landfills and nuclear waste facilities are in the poorest counties of each state, and particularly the south. The south tends to attract landfills and waste facilities because it has much more poor, rural areas than compared to the north. However, what could we do about this? I’ve heard some suggestions such as just evenly distribute the waste between multiple counties in each state, and stop bringing all of it to the South. Well, while this sounds like a simple solution, it won’t exactly work like people think. Let’s say that we decide to put a landfill in the wealthiest county in Tennessee. If we did that, within a year or so, every single wealthy family would have moved elsewhere. Why? Because, no one wants to live by a landfill. Since the wealthy have the means to easily pick up and move, they will. This will in turn result in the property value decreasing and the only people living there doing so because it’s the only place they can find work. Within a couple years’ time, if even that long, the wealthiest community in Tennessee could be transformed into one of the poorest. My point is with this, we can’t stop it. The wealthy families will not live in an undesirable location, because they don’t have to. They can pick up and buy another house elsewhere, whenever they want. Poor people can’t do that because they simply cannot afford it. This will not change unless we stop people from being able to move residences freely, which will not happen. Keep in mind; I’m not saying that these dumps will always be in black neighborhoods, because there is a solution there. We can do things as a society that will allow blacks to be on an equal class status as whites. However, as far as class, theses landfills and dumps will always be in the poorest neighborhoods.

Now you’re probably asking, so what do you propose, just make the poor people live among garbage just because they’re poor? No, I believe there are solutions, but I do not believe that the government will take actions on any of these, because they are simply too expensive.  One would be funnel more money into developing technology that produces less waste. Another, come up with a better system to get Americans to recycle. Currently, we suck at recycling. I’m seen numerous examples of people throwing away a water bottle in a garbage can when there has been a recycling can right beside it. Americans just don’t care anything about recycling. Granted, recycling wouldn’t eliminate garbage, but it could significantly reduce the amount. The last would be ship the garbage somewhere where people do not live. This could help the many communities that have to live with landfills, but this would require the government to spend larger amount of money on garbage, something that they are not willing to do.

Religion and the Good Ole’ South




            When I think of the south and what it represents I think of several things. One thing that stood out to me most is religion.  Religion was a heavy topic that was discussed in our previous class discussions. Southerners really value religion and going to church.  When you drive anywhere in the south you will find a church on just about every corner. As I was driving down the streets of Memphis I would often times find several churches on one street. Some churches were not even a mile or even a half mile apart. As I was completing my photo essay it was important for me to capture the importance of religion in the hope. I wanted to take pictures of historical churches that people were currently attending. I wanted to capture photos of well-known black churches as well as well-known white churches. I also wanted to take pictures of large churches as well as small churches to show that there are a wide range of churches that people attend in the south. I recently went to Atlanta about two weeks ago and i made it mandatory to take a picture of Ebenezer Baptist Church which is where Martin Luther King Jr. and his father ministered. This church is a historic site for the south. I could not have left Atlanta, Ga. without capturing a photo of this church. It seems as though they tried to keep this church as original as possible. Too many upgrades to this church would take away from the old historic feeling. Even the sign for the church remains exactly the same as it did when Dr. King and his father preached there.

I also made it a priority of mine to take a picture of my childhood church. Religion is very close to my heart and I have so many memories within that church. My entire family went to church so it was very important for me to put this church in my photo essay because it is a part of who I am today. I have so many memories in this church that will never leave. It is and forever will be my home church. It is one of the smallest pictures that I have in my photo essay and that is another reason why I had to have this church in my photo essay. Most people today feel that they have to attend larger churches in order to feel important or as if their church is better than a smaller church. In my opinion I feel it does not make any difference whether my church is small or large just as long as I am receiving the word for the pastor.

I also travelled down to my old neighborhood as a young child. I really wanted to go back to my childhood neighborhood because I knew I could capture great photos of churches. There were three churches that were right next to each other. I never realized that these were three different churches when I was a little girl because it just seemed did not seem out of the ordinary to see these three churches next to one another. In one of these churches my sister and I belonged to a Girl Scout troop within the church.

Then I rode down Central Avenue and I took a picture of Second Presbyterian Church. This church is huge and I past by this church everyday to come to school. It would only be right to have this church in my photo essay. This church does several things for the community. Just about every time I past this church whether if it is on the weekday or weekend there is always some type of activity going on. This church even offers a church for the community which I think is great.

I also made it a point to get a photo of the Catholic Church Immaculate Conception. Not everyone in the South is Baptist. There are many Catholic people in the south so it would not be right to leave out Catholic Churches in my photo essay. There are many people in the south that are Catholic so it was important for me to have a well-known Catholic church in my photo essay. I have always heard this church brought up in several conversations but I never knew exactly where it was. When I think of the different churches in the south I always tend to think about predominately black churches, which is something I need to get out of the habit of. There are more churches in the South that are not mostly black.

World Overcomers church is located right here in the city on Winchester Avenue. It is a well-known black church. A one time in our city’s history this church was receiving a lot mixed reviews from the press around the country. The reason there was so much attention brought upon this church was because the statue of liberty was being built to be placed in the front of the church. People from around the city had mixed feelings about it. Even the New York City had something to say about the statue being built in Memphis, Tn. At the time when this was happening, I was a young girl. I did not know why this was such a big issue. Now that I am older, I have an opinion about it. It is not that big of a concern to me. World Overcomers has their own meaning for the statue so who I am to say that it is wrong for it to be in front of the church.

I rode around the city with my mom and older sister to do this project. Once I got into the assignment I started to really enjoy myself. I captured some great photos and I also received some weird looks from people as I was snapping my photos. I was really amazed by how well my pictures turned out and how many other churches are in the city that I did not take pictures of. That made me take notice of how much the South really values religion as a part of our culture.


Its a New Day

I woke up the other morning puzzled as to how I was going to get my day started; what would actually set the tone for the rest of my week. As I was getting ready I hear this debate on the news pertaining to Pre-K and the possibility of having to raise taxes to fund this program. Shortly after that I hear my grandmother discussing early voting on this particular matter…suddenly I had an idea. My morning would consist of meeting my peers, classmates, neighbors, etc . at the polls to cast our ballot. After getting ready and listening more as student council and student board members debated over the pros and cons; I was so anxious to get there. Of course, I’ve voted but it was always late and or due to my mother or grandmother harassing me about it. I was being an adult and taking the initiative to voice my opinion by casting a vote. Surprisingly, I get to the voting location and I’m surrounded by nothing but elderly people. One of the ladies working made a comment of how proud she was that a person my age would even consider coming to vote and alone at that.  That comment led me to believe that no one near my age had yet been there and that was appalling to me. In my attempt to get discouraged, I started to appreciate all the elderly people that I  saw leaving and coming. I wasn’t second guessing voting, it was the fact that I have peers that could be directly impacted by this and they had no intentions or interest in voting. The young ladies that are becoming future educators like myself and those friends that are currently having financial hardships should have been the first in line. The result of this program being passed is a raise in sales taxes…none of us could really afford that. I guess the younger generation has not yet learned to appreciate the past in which African Americans had no right to vote especially in the South. There were people on walking canes, in wheel chairs, and in a physical condition in which they could have easily chosen to stay at home. Maybe their motivation was them remembering the place in which they or their parents lived where blacks were excluded and now  they’re taking advantage of all opportunities today.  A scripture came to me as I continued to look around the room, “never grow weary in well doing” and at this point I was patting myself on the back.  So often I’ve found that daring to be different is frightening to people, especially the blacks. The fact that we live in a “monkey see monkey do” time doesn’t make being pro-active in things such as voting any easier. The majority of the elderly people that I saw voting that day were blacks and even though African Americans have overcome oppression, the things that were once void in their lives in very much appreciated today. I’m one out of a million young African Americans, but I know that I stand alone. My decision to vote in elections, community wide issues, ect. is not only for myself but for my ancestors that didn’t have the opportunity to or whom’s voice was not allowed to be heard. We need to jump on the bandwagon..its a new day yall!

The South is so Unique and Fun!


The south is a great place to live and/or travel. The south is known for its southern hospitality, and fun activities. The food and the music isn’t the only thing that makes the south special. The south is significant for other things as well. The south has so many fun things to do such as beaches, parades, and festivals. For example, there are many beaches and tourist attractions the south provides. The south provides different types of weather, physical characteristics, and other varieties. For instance, you can visit Florida where it is very tropical, and then Tennessee where there are plenty of trees and snow in the winter. In the south you just don’t receive one type of climate, you receive multiple. But I must say Florida has the best weather that the south has to offer. I love going to Florida and visiting the beach. My favorite part of Florida is Miami because I travel there frequently. Florida is very tropical and has some of the best shopping plazas as well. Everything is a little expensive, but it is well worth it. Another city in Florida I like to visit is Tampa. I like Tampa because my godfather lives there and we always visit different unique restaurants. Even though it rains a lot, Tampa is still a great place to travel. New Orleans is also a city that I travel to at least every other year. This city has the Essence Festival which displays all sorts of fun things. They also have Bourbon St., great hotels, and nice restaurants. New Orleans has great bars with great music. Some of the best live bands play down in New Orleans. I cannot wait until February so I can visit this city again. I can’t forget about Texas! Texas has some of the best tourist attractions. Texas is very big, so they have room for plenty of fun. The football games are the best, especially in Dallas. Everyone is so full of Cowboy spirit and they have some of the best game after parties. I really love the night life in Houston. You haven’t had fun until you party in Houston, Texas. Houston is one of my top five favorite cities to party in. I say that because everyone is so full of life, and love to have fun. Texas also has an outdoor mall that takes three days to view called San Marcos, in a little town called San Marcos. Of course, I love Atlanta, GA, who doesn’t. Atlanta is not as expensive as Florida, but you still can have the same amount of fun. No, Atlanta doesn’t have a beach; however, it has one of the best aquariums. It also has the Coca-Cola Factory and other attractions as well. I love to travel, and I’m quite sure you all do as well. There is no place like the south and I say that because the south has its own sort of flavor that it brings to the United States! The south is the best place ever!!

Where Is All The Money?

In the America we live in today we are facing an economic crisis that is tearing down our government and putting a lot of people out work. In all the time we was on top of every country in which now we have been pushed to second-class in many peoples views. America is importing more than exporting in which we are selling our assets and taking on massive debts that sustain living that we can not afford anymore. With all this going on it is putting our international competitors to control us and make us rely on them for foreign production, innovation, and financing. America is losing its national security, self sufficiency, and leverage in which gives our foreign affairs to suffer greatly. We fail to acknowledge predatory foreign trade practices laying out the U.S. industry. With this causes problems in which we encourage U.S. manufacturers to design, engineer, and produce for third world markets in China and Mexico.

With our tax systems have unnecessarily raised domestic costs on businesses, in which the main cause of this is three decades of extreme detrimental U.S. trade and globalization policies. We rely on other countries to have faith in our policies that will hold themselves to our standards in the areas such as labor, environment, and competition policy. We are pretty much just giving away money to other countries then wondering where is all our money going then it is too late to fix anything. Our markets are some of the most important factors that keep our country strong and moving at a steady pace. We have handed rights to foreign markets to international bodies for instance The World Trade Organization and are committed to tearing down our country piece by piece. The U.S. is in a dramatically different position with the rising low wage markets. These markets have everything to gain and also as the ability to loose everything. The policies we have in the U.S. should protect our wealth and resources instead of providing lower consumer cost benefits that has a big impact on industries plus the workers in them. The main in this economic struggle is making a change for the better and protecting our policies in really putting them in affect and make them known that we will stand strong to our people. When we promote open markets and economic growth it will not alone rebalance America’s trade accounts and industrial collapse. with our industries being disarmed and dismantled that we lack knowledge, capacity, and the investment to a better industrial setup.

We have got to get back to our basics of what our country was upon and that was standing tall in our rights to not let nobody ruin our market polices or trade rights. It could make our economic struggle go away in a minute but it starts with making our policies enforced and putting the fear of God into other countries to know not to mess with us. We are one of the strongest countries in the world we just have got to get back to what we know best and make this country a whole again.

Child welfare case managers wear many different hats and have different responsibilities.  Being a front line case manager you must have a true passion for helping children and families.  The main responsibility of a case manager is overseeing that children grow in a safe and loving family environment where he or she can thrive and flourish. It is the case manager’s duty to protect children, strengthen families, and ensure that support is provided to properly care for children.  Case managers must enter communities; involve schools, courts, faith-based agencies, and volunteers to effectively attain an established goal.   Working as a team, listening to diverse views, putting forth customer service skills, being responsive, and maintaining accountability is significant to a solid resolution.

            The Department of Children Services main responsibilities regarding Child Protective Services are investigating any allegations and referrals of child abuse or neglect, making an assessment of issues that lead to the mistreatment, setting an intervention in motion to reduce the risks of mistreatment, evaluating the outcome of services, and closing the case or reuniting the child/children with their families.  The Department of Children Services also has an obligation to educate children, parents/ guardians on reporting abuse of any kind to the nationwide child abuse hotline.

            Another essential responsibility that the Department of Children Services has regarding the Juvenile Justice Division is to assist youth that have been sentenced by the juvenile courts for delinquent offenses.  Case managers have to make sure that all the children’s needs are met with services from probation, supervision, and secure residential placements.  DCS must monitor day-to-day services throughout the division, and provide treatment and rehabilitation to children and adolescents that were placed into state’s custody.  DCS has Youth Development Centers for males and G4S Services for females.

            Providing temporary or foster care for children is another essential component of the Department of Children Services.  Children that need these services are in homes with parents/guardians that are unable or unwilling to provide a safe and stable environment. In the event that these services are needed, DCS must recruit foster families that provide stable and supportive homes.  Children need to know that they are loved to ensure emotional, physical, and social growth. Foster care is a temporary service but if parents/guardians do not create a safe and nurturing environment for the return of the child/children, then permanent options such as adoption or independent living arrangements will be made according to the child/children ages.

            I have an interest in pursuing a career in child welfare because I know that I can make a difference in individuals’ lives.  I am compassionate about all people but those that are in need of assistance have a special place in my heart.  Although working for the Department of Children Services will present varying challenges and privileges; I am ready to face them.  I want to share and provide knowledge and experiences that will assist in motivating parents and children in the surmounting of obstacles. Becoming a case manager would be an excellent opportunity as I am striving to obtain a meaningful and fulfilling occupation, not simply a job. It would truly be a pleasure and an honor to join the DCS family.

Becoming an effective child welfare worker will take continuous exposure, growth, and development in all areas as I believe that practice makes perfect in every situation.  My previous psychological studies have embedded knowledge that I look forward to applying and further developing upon with prospect opportunities. I believe that internships and shadowing fellow child welfare workers are abundant methods of full exposure, growth, and development as a student.


Can not help but wonder


In class we talked about the Tuskegee Experiment. After taking two African American courses, it was hard to believe that this was the first time I was hearing about this unethical experiment the was done to African American  males back in nineteen hundreds .The public health service used humans as guinea pigs to conduct a study on Syphilis and it’s side effects. The study was conducted to determine from autopsies what the disease does to human body. As much as I want to say I cannot believe that the government would do such a thing, I have to say, I am not surprised at all that we as a nation would use other humans as study subjects. History has proven that, in some cases, human life is worth nothing and if we can gain new knowledge for science, it seems not to matter at what cost. During the time of the Tuskegee Experiment, the doctors had no objection to using African Americanmales for their research. Upon seeking more knowledgeabout this particular study, I read that there were over six-hundred case studies. These men were told that they had “bad blood” when in fact they were infected with syphilis. This took place in Macon County and lasted over four decades, and probably would have lasted even longer if someone had not leak it to the news media.  Now, what in fact was actually hard for me to believe was that before the story was leaked someone said, “wait maybe this is wrong”, however, the law makers justified it as being ethical because no one was being harmed because they did in fact sign up for the study and were receiving the benefits of a free meal and a free trip to see the “good oledoctor” that was helping these men with their “bad blood”.  No one was being harmed!!  As long as no one was being harmed, Okay did I miss something? It wasn’t harmful tosend these men home to their wives knowing dang well that they had syphilis? That it is a sexually transmitted disease. The main reason for joining the study in the first place was for these men to help provide for their families,which is now being placed in harm’s way, but I guess it was okay because it was not hurting the ones who actually signed up for the program. That is just crazy to think that a human life was played with in this type of way.  I cannot help but to wonder if this same type of unethical practice isstill being used right now. AIDS, for example, is there really a cure?  Is it being sold to the highest paying client or is it that all of the side effects are unclear so more study time is needed? Why would they treat people in this way and think no harm is being done.