Harmony, Mississippi, is an all-black enclave hidden deep in the piney woods of Carthage, Mississippi, on the banks of the Pearl River. Once an armed and dangerous fortress that actively resisted the threat of white violence before, during, and after the civil rights movement now faces a different peril that is intangible and almost impossible to ward off. The threat of becoming a ghost town has been difficult to resist, with a declining population, an increasing poverty rate, and contentious family feuds within the community. Haunted by heroes, hustlers, holy rollers, and hellions, this place sits between Heaven and Hell. Proud of what was, weary of what is, and uncertain of what will be, the people of this community rely solely on God, gumption, and future generations to resurrect the community by preserving its legacy and restoring its virtue so they might live in perfect Harmony. I hoped to have captured the essence of this place through these photographs.
Amirhea Bishop is a native of Madison, MS. She is an alumna of Jackson State University and is a first-year MA student in the Southern Studies program at the University of Mississippi. Amirhea serves as the research assistant to faculty fellow W. Ralph Eubanks for the Black Power at Ole Miss Task Force committee, which documents the stories and preserves the legacy of the Ole Miss 89 through oral histories. She plans to blend different disciplines, such as business, humanities, and the social sciences, across multi-media platforms to document, interpret, and propagate the unabridged stories of the American South that highlight it as a diverse and complex place.