Photos from Mississippi and Alabama
Copyright © 2016 by Jim Natale All rights reserved.
The author Willie Morris once said that to understand the world you have to understand a place like Mississippi. To give the observation greater weight, he attributed the words to William Faulkner. The problem, as both the sly Mr. Morris and Mr. Faulkner undoubtedly knew, is that is impossible to understand Mississippi. Or Alabama. However, the apocryphal quote serves as a good metaphor. This is the land of stereotypes and surprises. Like music (a major component of the region), you first need to relax and go with it before you can get it. Probably we should establish up front what this little collection is not: It is not comprehensive or documentary, not objective, not a sociological statement, not a study, not political or racial. Not particularly urban or rural. Not even systematic or planned. If it represents anything, it recalls hours of quiet walking and looking, mindful of words often attributed to the famously observant Walker Evans, "Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." Good advice, and, as best I can determine, something that Evans actually said. Either way. True or not, relax and go with the music of it. Jim Natale Oxford, Mississippi February 2016