"Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town"
Frequented by legendary bluesman Robert Johnson in the days preceding his death, Mississippi’s Baptist Town neighborhood is cut off on all sides by train tracks and home to around 500 residents, all black, with an estimated 90 percent unemployment rate. Geographically separated from this neighborhood is an affluent white community. While many of us would like to believe that we live in a post-racial society it is hard to imagine a place like Baptist Town existing without the South’s troubled history of racism and segregation. With this ongoing body of work my goal is to introduce neighbors to one another in an honest and intimate way; to foster understanding and dispel uncertainty and fear. I hope to bridge the gap between these two worlds, so close together and yet so different.
Ellen "El" Wilson lies in bed smoking a cigarette a few months after suffering a stroke in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, Mississippi on Thursday, November 4, 2010. Daily she must deal with a number of health issues including her sciatic nerve laying on her spine, which makes it difficult for her to walk. Her children Jabari and Nikki work to support their mother who applied for SSI in 2006 but has allegedly still not received anything.