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Lovely article in the NY Times about Mississippi, a place that the entire LaCour clan holds dear.
Because the state is so infamous for its vicious past — Mississippi had the most lynchings, and the most violent resistance to civil rights — it’s hard for outsiders to accept that it’s also a place of extraordinary warmth, kindness and hospitality.
Mississippi is certainly a state full of contridictions, but the people there are some of the most genuinely kind, welcoming, and hospitable that I've encountered. True Southern Hospitality is alive and well in Mississippi, as opposed to Atlanta, which in my decade plus of residence more consistently displayed a fake, saccharin version of Southern Hospitalilty – a false, sad, judgemental fascimile. The article also highlights many of the weaknesses still present in Mississippi, but highlights the good that most people miss.
My grandmother always used to call Mississippi a "hidden oasis." I'm not sure I fully agree with her, but I do think its a place full of surprises, kind hearts, and great food.