Jackson Travel Guide [y]

[y] Jackson MS Visitors Guide

Jackson, the largest city as well as the capital of Mississippi, is located on the western banks of the beautiful Pearl River and is served by the Ross Barnett Reservoir. Jackson remained a very small town for most of the nineteenth century and did not see large scale growth until the late 1970s. Even with its population nearing 200,000, Jackson still has a small, home town atmosphere. It is the seat of Hinds County, but parts of the city are also located in Madison and Rankin counties as well. Jackson is a government, commercial, manufacturing, telecommunications, and distribution center producing many things such as electrical equipment and machinery, processed food, and metal products. The surrounding agricultural areas produce livestock, soybeans, cotton, and poultry.

Jackson is located in the heart of Mississippi at the intersections of Interstate 55, running north and south, and Interstate 20 running east and west and is accessible by air, train, or boat. The city itself has about 180,000 with the greater metro area reaching over 500,000. It is a very diverse area serving many different cultures.

Jackson is home to many historical buildings and was the site of many important happenings in history, especially during the Civil War. The residents of Jackson have not forgotten the south they came from and keep the sense of history alive even today. Being located in the deep south, Jackson is rich in African-American heritage. The black population has not forgotten this heritage and to this day the city has African-American affiliated colleges as well as many cultural spots dedicated to preserving their music and art, such as the New Age Theater, the Farish Street District, and the Black Arts Music Society.

Perhaps because Jackson is so historically, culturally, and ethnically rich, it has produced many famous names, such as famous country singer-songwriters Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes. Other entertainers from Jackson include jazz singer Cassandra Wilson, blues musician Otis Spann, gospel singer Dorothy Moore, and R&B; entertainer Fern Kinney. Famous playwrights and writers from Jackson are Beth Henley, Vic Fleming, Margaret Walker Alexander, and Richard Ford. Famous sports stars from Jackson are basketball players James Robinson, Othella Harrington, Lindsey Hunter, and NFL football star, Walter Payton. The inventor of Pine-Sol, Harry A. Cole, is from Jackson and perhaps the most well-known name from the town is the famous novelist and writer Eudora Welty. Some of these people are the reason Jackson is as well known as it is today. Most of these names still frequent Jackson on occasion and most have made some form of a donation to the city, proving that their hometown still holds a place in their heart. Jackson is determined to shed the stereotype of “Old Mississippi” it has received over the years. They have begun many programs to try and improve the quality of life for all citizens by community building, promoting and maintaining education, economic and business prosperity, and keeping neighborhoods safe. One program that has proved to be a great help in these actions is the FABRIC (For A Better, Revitalized, Inclusive, Community) plan. Over 500 citizens have given their thoughts and inputs into this plan by attending focus groups, youth workshops, public workshops, and surveys. This plan has already made a few steps forward but is still in the developmental stages. This just goes to prove that the city that is now known as “The Best of the New South” is doing everything it possibly can to live up to its name and high expectations.

Jackson is preparing for a future that education, training programs, and community services will all play a large part. They are striving for excellence in the school systems, libraries, health care, city services, and cultural opportunities. In doing this they are making it possible for every Jackson resident to fully experience everything the city has to offer. One key thing Jackson is trying to do to improve the quality of life for all residents is improving race relations in Jackson’s diverse melting pot of a population. They have done a wonderful job of this and various races have moved beyond tolerance into respect.

The city is a unique mix of the southern roots of the old south and the new millennium. Jacksonian’s are extremely proud of their southern background, famed southern hospitality, and high quality of life. Community support is strong for its parks and wildlife, cultural events, festivals, and sporting teams. Jackson is a city that houses many wonderful citizens that are all dedicated to making Jackson one of America’s most livable cities. The residents have done their job as Jackson is currently listed as fourth on the list of America’s most livable mid-sized cities.

Jackson MS Quick Facts