“The advice from the front office at East Side High in Cleveland, Mississippi, is clear. Lurk in the corridor with the kids and the school principal, Dr Randy Grierson, is bound to show up shortly.
With boisterous laughter, the lady adds: “You can’t miss him – he is the only Caucasian adult in the building!”
It helps to have a sense of humour if you’re an African-American here in the Mississippi Delta, an area famous for its pockets of grinding poverty and racial discrimination that some say has barely dissipated in 50 years. How else could you respond to the news, for example, that Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishing slavery only in February?”
Has The Deep South Changed? Cleveland, Mississippi is the American town the civil rights movement missed
In the first of a three-part series marking 45 years since Martin Luther King’s death, David Usborne visits the town where it seems the civil rights movement never happened