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Passport to Prosperity

Posted on: September 16, 2016
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The story of Indianola, Mississippi, is a veritable tale of two cities.

On its surface, Indianola is rich with history and seems like an opportune place to live. It’s the home of blues legends Albert and B. B. King and of the first black female Postmaster, Minnie Cox; it’s the seat of power for Sunflower County; and it’s home to Tom and Walton Gresham, owners of the Double Quick convenience store chain and Gresham Petroleum Co.

Yet times have been tough in Indianola. Many of the agricultural and manufacturing jobs that long buoyed the city’s economy are now obsolete, and other jobs moved overseas. Delta Pride, a large catfish processing plant, closed its doors in 2011, and a lot of people are now out of work…

Things are getting better in Indianola. Since the Delta Health Alliance won a five-year grant to create and implement IPC, the data show significant progress, especially for children in early grades.

For example, 82 percent of IPC third graders passed the milestone state literacy test in 2016 compared with 79 percent last year. Notably, 59 percent of IPC students who could not pass the test in the fall were able to do so in the spring. That’s up 23 percentage points from the previous year.

(Read the full article here: http://apps.urban.org/features/promise-neighborhoods/indianola-ms.html)

 

Indianola, Mississippi
WRITING & PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATTHEW JOHNSON
SEPTEMBER, 6 2016