Community meeting held to address blight in Medgar Evers histori - - Jackson, MS

Community meeting held to address blight in Medgar Evers historic district


The home of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers was made an even bigger part of American history Thursday.

The National Park Service presented a new plaque during a dedication ceremony held outside the Evers house on Margaret Walker Alexander Drive in Jackson. But people who live in the area say they are fed up with the issues that surround the home.

Linda Palmer, a pastor in the area, is tired of seeing the issues in the area. 

"I see a lot of crime, I see bad streets, I see drugs. I just see it's like a city dump," said Palmer. "I just think it's a terrible situation now that this is one of the historic places and you see his house looking like that in the neighborhood, and nobody caring. The mayor, chief of police, nobody cares. And they really don't care, because it's a poor area, people don't have a lot of money."

During Thursday night's community meeting at Mt. Mariah Baptist Church, Ward 3 councilman, Kenneth Stokes, brought up grants. He says applying for grants in an historic district could be an avenue to get the ailing neighborhood in the right direction. The city's director of planning, Dr. Makesh Kumar, says a "quick fix" like grants isn't the way to truly bank on the area's future.

"Grants will go so far, they don't necessarily make a neighborhood," said Kumar. "Neighborhoods ultimately have to thrive because it's a viable neighborhood with a significant amount of resources that are locally developed, there are enough businesses that are doing well in the neighborhood." 

The director of city planning says he will start neighborhood planning activity by the end of the year. But big changes sadly won't happen for the next couple of years. 

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