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  • Early one morning, in Clarksdale Mississippi, I walked into the hair salon and met Miss Mayfield. A school teacher in the neighboring town of Sumner, she was there to get her hair done for Sunday Church.

    We got talking. Her first job was at the nearby Casinos, but she did not like it. Not because the hours were long, or the work was hard, or the pay was little. It was because people were not polite. So she decided that if her sister could get an education and work in school administration, so could she. She became a teacher.

    We talked about life in Mississippi. The poverty. The gangs. The inability of the community to improve itself. About how in her family all the sisters were educated but her brother was still a man of the streets.

    And then she shared a regret. Having educated herself, she found her standards had risen, and it was very difficult now to find a worthy man.
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