The Mississippi River is an important part of African American and general American history. The Mississippi River stood as a symbol of both liberation and bondage for Blacks in the Deep South during slavery. The ports of the Mississippi River provided as a place to import African Slaves and also served as a place where Slaves were sold on the auction blocks. It also provided as an escape from the entrenched bondage and slavery that categorized the Deep South. Many slaves took to the Mississippi River in their quest from freedom. In fact, it has been established that a large portion of the Underground Railroad aided escapes in the western slaves states involved travel along the Mississippi River.
There was also a sizable portion of Blacks who were employed on the steamboats along the Mississippi River . This provided many slaves with a sense of freedom; a place where they could escape the harsh realities of Slavery in the Deep South because they were able to pose as workers or freed slaves who were passengers. As a result, the Mississippi River fostered a community of Blacks where, unlike their Deep South Brothers and Sisters, they were able to experience a sense of autonomy and freedom.
Today, many of the inhabitant along the Mississippi River, many of them descendant of these aforementioned Slaves, have been forced to evacuate their homes and leave their rich historical roots behind because of dangerously surging water levels. The rising water levels are expected to exceed the historical levels experienced in the 1927 Mississippi Flood that caused over $400 million in damages and killed over 246 people in 7 states.
Orijin would like to extend its thoughts and prayers to all who is affect by this devastation. Natural disasters are an inevitable part of life, however, we should all ensure that we come together to assist our fellowman when they are in need.
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