Editor, Commonwealth:

The article “Lifespans in Greenwood vary by area” (May 1) is merely comical and yet a slap in the face to the black community. To base people’s lifespans and ability to succeed in life on where they rest their head at night is a stretch.

Let’s start with the comparison of North Greenwood to Avenue F and most parts south of Carrollton Avenue. Granted that the Avenue F area has it flaws just like other places, but you must also look into the high turnover rate in this area, where the majority of residents who received a quality education migrated to other communities in the area or ushered out of town or state.

To get a real indication of the lifespan of people reared in the area, you must take into consideration the people who migrated to other communities in the area. With more than 60 percent of South Greenwood owned by people who do not live in the area and with little interest in renovating, selling or demolishing the unsightly properties, citizens who become educated migrate to better living areas.

So it begs the question, Why wasn’t North Greenwood compared to other communities, such as the tree streets (Pine, Cypress, Cedar, etc.), or the Terrace Gardens community, or the community behind the TV station? I’m pretty sure the statistics would be similar.

The article mentions a student living in the area could be ill-equipped with the proper education or surrender to disease. On behalf of every teacher, doctor, lawyer, fireman, nurse, contractor and any other professional in the black community, this is beyond crazy. Although the path for our professionals wasn’t always the smoothest, we made the best of it. Being a product of the Leflore County and Greenwood public schools, I value the education that I received and have stood wit for wit with students who are considered to have the best education that the world has to offer. The quality of education hinges on the person who seeks it.

I also learned in my ninth-grade comprehensive health class that hypertension, diabetes and other health-related issues are the result of poor eating habits, poor exercise regimens and heredity. These factors are not isolated solely to one particular area in the city. I’m pretty sure loved ones on both sides of the bridge are challenged with these exact issues.

To say that a Greenwood newborn’s lifespan and ability to succeed in life are based on whether the child lives north or south of the Yazoo River is reckless on so many levels. The mere thought of displaying the notion that one area is superior or inferior to the other creates animosity and resentment among the two sides.

Greenwood is reeling in so many aspects that the need for coming together to rectify the decline that plagues our beautiful city is at an all-time high. This article pushes us farther away from what’s needed to improve all of Greenwood, not just North or South.

Kenderick Cox

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