Walt's Look Around: A town named Deovolente - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: A town named Deovolente

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HUMPHREYS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There was a time, and not all that long ago, that, if you lived out in the country especially, likely as not on a day in and day out basis, you weren't going to see anybody you didn't already know, or do anything you hadn't done before. And there was a certain security in that. You were surrounded by friends and family and neighbors and you had a common goal, of not only surviving but thriving.

In an area of Humphreys County named Deovolente such a life style existed. Founded by African-American's who were determined to take charge of their own destinies.

Alice Clark: The word "Deovolente" means "God Willing." And that was what we took it to be and that is what we did. We worked to make things go well.

Walt: State Representative Alice Clark was raised in the Deovolente Community out from Belzoni and was in on the putting together of a Deovolente Museum that is housed in a room of a building at McNair School in Belzoni. Eula Davis was in on the founding of the museum, too. And they have a simple goal, preserving the spirit of an era.

Eula Davis: We want our children, and our children's children to know from whence we came, our struggles and most of all, our accomplishments.

Walt: The Deovolente Museum seemed such a good idea that rooms have been dedicated to all of the OTHER towns and villages in the county; Belzoni, Isola, Midnight.

Belzoni Mayor Wardell Walton sees the museum as a plus for his town, and he even has a favorite display item.

Wardell Walton: One is an old cowhide chair that was owned by my mother years ago. My mother died, she lived to be 104 years old. But it's an old cowhide chair and it holds a lot of memories.

Walt: And that is what every item in this museum is, a container for a memory or an emotion or a reminder of a way of life, or a way TO live.

Alice Clark: You know, we look at sometimes the things that happened to us as not being good? But when we really look at it, it wasn't bad at all. Maybe, if we were still doing some of the kinds…SOME of the kinds of things that we did then, life would be much better for all of us.

Walt: And that is what the Deovolente Museum attempts to capture, the better life that could progress to a better tomorrow, if we don't forget those ways and those times.

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