GUIZERIX: A 10-episode milestone and only going up from here

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

In case y’all haven’t heard, I’ve added “podcast host” to my growing list of job responsibilities.

The Voices of the Floods podcast is something I’m immensely proud of, and something I hope readers of The Vicksburg Post are enjoying.

For me, it’s been a chance to get to know the people of the South Mississippi Delta in a new way, and it’s brought a more complete storytelling process to listeners and readers of The Post. Being limited on space in the print edition and bound by the necessary standards of readability online, the addition of the podcast to our coverage of the Yazoo Backwater Pumps issue offers a relatively boundary-free space for subjects to speak their minds.

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When we started this Faces of the Floods series, I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going to go. All I knew was, these people’s stories weren’t being told the way they should’ve been, and I had a place for them to speak.

What I’ve learned, and tried to share with readers and listeners, is the stark level of injustice South Delta residents have lived in for the last 80 years. While floods happen almost annually in parts of the South Delta, the significant flood years alone (1973, 2011, 2019, 2020) have left them with deep wounds.

They’re battling financial hardships in the poorest county east of the Mississippi River. They’re battling displacement, with many people in the hardest-hit areas still living as refugees in Vicksburg, Rolling Fork and Jackson years after the water receded. They’re dealing with the psychological trauma that comes with the intense fear and stress of having to flee their homes at any given moment, of opening their back doors and seeing alligators and water moccasins broaching the entrance.

Even if you’ve heard tales of the Yazoo Backwater Floods time and time again, you haven’t heard them like this. There’s something that is, at times, bone-chilling and awe-inspiring about hearing these stories firsthand, in the voices of the people who lived through it. The lilting vernacular speech of a lifelong farmer, the pleas spoken through tears of a woman still holding out hope that the floods will end — it’s hard to shake loose.

Voices of the Floods is 10 episodes in, and it’s my goal to keep the momentum going. I’ll keep posting new episode bulletins on and in the newspaper (like on page 3 of Wednesday’s edition), but you can also listen on Spotify or through Google Podcasts by simply typing “Voices of the Floods” into the search bar.

Maybe give us a follow as well, so you’ll be notified every week when we post a new episode. You’ll be glad you did.