Exodus from Cootie Creek, Ga. | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Exodus from Cootie Creek, Ga.


Ken Stiggers

Brother Hustle: "Welcome to another Compensatory Investment Request support group meeting. Now that the cold, wintery weather appears to be behind us, it's time for our ideas and aspirations to come out of hibernation and spring into action.

"Before I share some news from our budding and blossoming entrepreneurs, I want to inspire this group with an inspirational story about my Uncle Money Hustle. Around 1940, Uncle Money and family made an exodus from Cootie Creek, Ga., to the smoky steel city of Pittsburgh, Pa. He was one of the millions of African American southerners who participated in the Great Migration.' The reason Uncle Money left Cootie Creek was over a wage dispute on a farm he sharecropped for Mr. Meen O. Whitman. After a tongue lashing of phrases like 'Uppity N-words' and threats of lynching, Uncle Money and family moved on and out.

"In Pittsburgh, Pa., Uncle Money took on various odd jobs, like scrubbing floors for a Jewish homeowner and detailing cars for an Italian car dealer. Eventually, he discovered that race and class reared its ugly presence up North while he was employed at a steel mill, where acts of discrimination, prejudice and bigotry were subtle. 

"Nevertheless, Uncle Money endured the perils of being the darker brother in America. Forty years later, he migrated back to Cootie Creek to retire.

"The moral of this story is: When a problem like oppression comes along, you must whip it good and keep on hustling every day.

"Now, let's move forward."

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