A Long Way From Picking Cotton

By RISE Program Director, Mary Crandall

Arthur came to RISE following time in prison. In visiting with Arthur, he is quit anxious to tell his story about growing up in Mississippi. He talks about picking cotton as a boy in Mississippi.  He experienced many injustices and prejudices in the south. He has been in Cedar Rapids for 20 years now and is well on his way to getting his life together after being in prison for many years. Arthur is disabled, so cannot work. He found an apartment and is happy as can be in that apartment. He likes to visit with people; he comes into Rise to help people, to talk with them about life, his past, his parents and all they taught him. He especially loves talking about his days picking cotton and the life lessons he learned. He has a good outlook on life;  How can you be poor when you have so much help?