Black Families Visitors' Guide - Histories - Genealogies: Marshall County Mississippi Historical Memorabilia: Rev. Leona Wooten Harris Compiler
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In 1979, Harris' grandmother became ill and Harris returned to Holly Springs to live, so that she could care for her grandmother. Harris soon began to long for the cultural activities that were so abundant in Chicago. The only cultural thing here as I saw it when I came home was Rust College, Harris recalled. Well, everybody didn't go to Rust College. And so, to be very honest, at the time, I was just thirsty, said Harris. Holly Springs, like many small Mississippi towns at the time, was greatly lacking in cultural activities, and particularly activities focused on African American culture and history. After working with the DuSable Museum, Harris believed that she could help change that lack of African American culture. That's one of the things I was taught early, that you don't sit around and complain about things, Harris said. If something is not going the way you think it should, then you create something better or just as good, and develop it to make it happen. So that's what we kind-of did as it relates to the Ida B. Wells' activities. Harris, and a group of friends, began organizing presentations of her slide show and other cultural events. The group's programs were a hit with the community. It caught on like fire, like a wildfire, which is good. It's so important that our young people know their history. They have to know where they came from in order to know where they're going, said Harris.


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