Rediscovering My Roots: A Journey Back to Fort Adams, Mississippi
Sometimes life takes us on unexpected journeys. For me, this journey led me back to a place I hadn’t visited in three decades—my father’s hometown of Fort Adams, Mississippi. This small, riverport community in Wilkinson County was once the backdrop of my childhood memories, and I felt it was time to revisit and reconnect with my roots.
The Road Less Traveled: Tackling the challenging, unpaved road of Mile Hill proved to be quite the adventure. Better suited for a horse than a vehicle, this twisting route led me to my grandmother’s property. Once a thriving haven with pecan trees, a hog pond, and chicken coops, it now stands as an empty shack with an overgrown lawn that seemed enormous in my childhood memories. Yet, the resilient fig tree still stands tall.
Resourcefulness at Its Finest: My grandmother, who lived over 30 miles from the nearest store, was the epitome of resourcefulness. She managed to provide fresh food for her family with ingredients from her garden and chickens raised in her yard. The aromas of cornbread, sweet rice desserts, and preserved figs still linger in my thoughts today.
Exploring the Field of Dreams: As a child, I spent countless hours exploring the field behind my grandmother’s house. I walked amidst pecan trees with my cousin Smokey and discovered turtle eggshells by the creek. Strangely, I don’t recall encountering anyone in the community outside of my family during those adventures.
A Reflection on Resilience: Now, as an adult, I find myself reflecting on the origins of this African American community and the resilience they must have demonstrated to thrive in such a remote location. Fort Adams may be a small dot on the map, but it holds a wealth of history and lessons in perseverance.
Returning to Fort Adams has been a humbling experience, reminding me of the importance of our roots and the stories they hold. This journey has allowed me to appreciate the resourcefulness and resilience of my ancestors, who built a life for themselves and their families despite the odds. As I reconnect with my past, I am filled with gratitude and inspiration for the future.
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