Tag Archives: Mollie Chapman

When Jax Declared Its Center a “Slum Heart,” ‘Evil,” and Demanded Exorcism

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The deep baritone drips with condescension, festers with open sarcasm.

“This very plumbing, if you can dignify it with the name of plumbing, can bring disease and death into your home through the medium of your servants.”

“Come to think of it,” Slum Heart recalls, opportunistically, “that servant girl who comes to your house each morning […] Do you know where she goes at night?”

The Clara White Mission Remains the Humanitarian Heart of Jax

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If the goodness, kindness, and mercy enacted in a particular building, on a certain quadrant of earth, can accrue across the years, then the Clara White Mission should be a pilgrimage site and 613 Ashley Street in LaVilla is sacred ground.

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At the turn of 1974, Eartha was the tiny, bird-like, Old-Testament-but-New-Testament saint at the center of town. She died in January. I was born in June. I so wish I could have met her.

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When I saw Eartha White look out at me from the open doors of Roosevelt Watson III’s major artwork, I saw her as I’d never seen her but also as she’d visited me, angelically and ghostly, when I’d most needed to find her before.

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