Mobile, Ala.: How about a little good news about Americans, for a change?

Here’s a tale of generosity to inspire anybody.

Ranked by per capita income, Alabama is the fifth poorest state in the nation. The town of Prichard, just north of Mobile, is one of the poorest towns in this poor state, ranking 456th of 494.

But a big piece of news here in the first week of October was about Prichard’s government organizing a drive to raise relief money for the hurricane-devastated Bahamas. Not only that, but one of its councilmen is “challenging” all the other, wealthier cities in Mobile County to match Prichard’s effort.

Prichard, one edge of which was the site of a colony of the last slaves ever imported into the country, once was a thriving town of 47,000, with shipyards and paper mills providing good jobs. Both local industries eventually shuttered, though, and the town is down to about 21,000 inhabitants (86% black), with more than a third of the population below the poverty line. Since 1999, the city has been in and out of municipal bankruptcy court several times – although it’s hard to keep track of which times and under what terms bankruptcy was granted.

Always, though, a core of “can do” believers has kept a positive attitude about the town’s potential….

[The full column, which may be behind a firewall for a week, is here. I recommend signing up for an Examiner subscription. They have lots of really talented writers and the news side breaks great stories regularly.]


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