What an exciting time—the launching of IndigoLife Magazine, our quarterly publication serving 30 counties throughout Southwest Georgia. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring you an incredibly valuable resource: life-changing information, as well as products and services that we believe will help to improve the quality of your life as a resident of the Southwest Georgia community.
It is our intention to highlight the splendor of our community uncovering those hidden treasures found right under our noses—stories that are often overcast by stained perceptions of our lived and historical experiences, that seek to backlash against our own self-worth. The name ‘indigoLife’, therefore, fits well with our desire to showcase the progress of black life in Southwest Georgia from an uplifting regal point of view. We hope that our magazine will help spark a resurgence of social and economic empowerment through our feature stories and columns that address issues surrounding education, social reform, health and wellness, entertainment, business, and a whole lot more.
I am humbled and honored to serve as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of such a stellar publication. Though recently migrating from Miami, Florida, I am no stranger to Southwest Georgia. Here lie the beloved hometowns of my parents. Daddy (Mr. David Ritchey) is from Vienna-Dooly County. Mama (Mrs. Ozzie Mae Kinchen Ritchey-Palmer) and my other Dad (Mr. James Palmer) are from Cordele-Crisp County. As a young girl, Southwest Georgia was my favorite vacation spot, and I could think of no other place I would rather be. From Tifton to Cordele to Vienna, I had plenty reasons for wanting to leave the South Florida palm trees and beaches from some good ole’ cornbread, fresh peas, southern fried chicken, peach cobbler, and hospitality that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world except Southwest Georgia, at least I thought so.
And here I am. You can imagine that after some thirty years, much has changed about South Georgia. While I now get to see more of my sister, Wanda, Aunt Mary, Uncle Lorenzo, Aunt Lettie and Uncle Bob, and other close nieces, nephews, and cousins, still there are a lot of the people to whom I felt endeared, who are no longer here. Even besides that, the enduring presence of the leading elders seems to be fading. And what happened to the front porch? You know the front porch—what used to be one of the social hallmarks of the black community in South Georgia. Where are the regulars whom you could count on for an afternoon wave as you passed by? South Georgia, this was home, the place where families returned from the big city to make sure their children had value-laden experiences of how to appreciate the outdoors, how to appreciate what you have, however much or little, how to remember your manners, and how not to forget family and friends even those at far distances.
While a lot has changed, some things remain saddle stitched and intact. I can still find a ‘welcome table’ to sit and enjoy a hearty southern meal. I can still find wonderful opportunities to make great new friendships. I can still find rich soil in which to plant my gifts and watch a bountiful harvest that yields enough fruit for me to share with a neighbor or even a stranger in need. So you see, IndigoLife Magazine allows me to continue my passion toward what my business mentor, Dr. Deryl G. Hunt, calls inclusive community building. Simply put, the stories found here are pieces of an elaborately-designed quilt. By highlighting this region of the South, you and I get the chance to celebrate and inspire character and economic development embedded in the potential of the black community in South Georgia. In so doing, we get to meet not just at community centers, but we get to share in the center of community, as part of a larger inclusive society.
Well my friend, time and space dictate a short pause in our conversation. We’ll talk again sometime soon. Perhaps we can meet over a cup of coffee, maybe on the front porch, or even at the kitchen table, wherever you’d like. I hope you’ll make this a regular read—and that you’ll stay In My Korner.