On the Ground with Report for America: Almost Independence Day
July 3, 2018. It was almost Independence Day.
Lee Eric Evans straightened a flag pole on his aunt’s front porch. He carefully unfurled an American flag so that it hung properly, making sure it didn’t touch the ground.
Lee, who is 26 years old, was fussing over the flag for the 4th of July celebrations in the Farish Street Historic District which would happen the next day.
I was working on a story about the importance of the District as a hub of black-owned businesses in the 1920’s and 1930s. I wanted to understand how this once-thriving economy had descended into neglect and how the city had become seized by violence.
I told Lee Eric why I thought the story was important, and asked if I could talk with him about the neighborhood.
Within days, Lee Eric Evans would be shot dead: https://thegroundtruthproject.org/portrait-struggle-violence-mississippi/