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We Save Ourselves

Mississippi was the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet it continually fails its Black residents. Into America meets the Jackson State students and alum waging a grassroots fight for their community.

About this episode:

Despite being the Blackest state in the country, Mississippi has little Black political representation; and the state’s policies have been hostile to its predominately Black capital city of Jackson. But in the face of the state’s political neglect, Black people have never stopped fighting to make their communities stronger. During the Civil Rights Movement, Mississippi was ground zero for activism, with Jackson State at the center. Now, a new generation is drawing on that tradition to look out for their communities.

One of those people is Jackson State Junior Maisie Brown. She’s stepped up during the city’s water crisis to fill the gaps left by the state. As part of Into America’s “Power of the Black Vote” tour ahead of the midterms, host Trymaine Lee joins Maisie as she travels around Jackson, delivering clean drinking water to residents.

And we visit Jackson State alum Laurie Bertram Roberts, founder of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund. Laurie has spent her life fighting for reproductive rights, but her job has gotten harder after thefall of Roe.

Trymaine also speaks with JSU history professor Robert Luckett about the social and political forces at work in the state.

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Listen to the latest episode of the series: The Power of the Black Vote: Tackling Our Climate Crisis.

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