Letters to the Editor: She’s making ‘good trouble’ by standing up

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Editor’s note: Viola Wells was arrested after an altercation with a neighbor. She was assigned a day for court, but when she arrived, she said a sign on the court door told her it had been canceled for the day. Mrs. Wells said she was informed about how to sign in for a virtual appearance, but the instructions to do so did not include the code to allow her into the meeting. She said she went back to the court to ask about a new court date and was told it had passed and she had not shown up for it, therefore was arrested.

To the editor:

On Feb. 10, I was booked in at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in Natchez through no fault of my own. You know better than me how they take you in back, sit you on a bench, put you on one of those funny-looking tops, which are not clean, and take your photo.

Afterward, they tell you they are going to do your paperwork, then you pay your fine — mine was $210. They say they will turn the key and you can go, whatever that means.

I would like to say I have three respectful children who have never experienced this before and I am a senior citizen and am proud to say I did nothing wrong.

Shame on the leadership of Adams County, but suffice it to say don’t worry about the one who you wronged because I see judgment down the road.

So, if Fannie Lou Hammer was strong enough to go demand her right to vote in this era, certainly I can demand my property and respect.

I know I am a strong African-Irish American woman who has confidence in who I am, so no one will define me or my day.

Amy Jacques Garvey, the second wife of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, stated and I quote, “Put your African American feet on the ground and fight like hell for your place in this world.”

And needless to say, my great-great-grandfather was sold as a gift, given 51 acres of land as a gift, became a landowner in 1868, two years after the Civil War. The gift of land was bequeathed to my great-great-grandfather from his slave owner. He was the source and reason for Poplar Hill School, in my opinion, the school where I attended from first through sixth grade. The school was built for the Poplar Hill community.

In addition to the 51 acres that was given to my great-great-grandfather, Delaney Jackson, as a gift, he and some of his children acquired more property — 169 acres total — which is still owned today by our family.

Viola Wells is a Natchez resident.