Campaign Creator and Coordinator
A gaze of shock. That is the reaction a complete stranger gave to me when I told her that I was from Mississippi. While waiting in line at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., my family and I made polite conversation with the lady in front of us. Being a likely question, she asked us where we were traveling from. When reacting to our answer, she acted as if my home state of Mississippi was a taboo. At that moment, I realized that some people don't see Mississippi in the same light as I do.
This isn't a Republican vs. Democrat issue,
a black vs. white one.
This is an American issue.
It is no secret that Mississippi has a discomfiting past. Mississippi’s identity is so intertwined and suffocated by its history of terrorism, violence, and racism. When thinking of Mississippi, people often recall 1955's murder of Emmett Till, 1963's assassination of Medgar Evers, 1964's murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner during Freedom Summer, and thousands of others whose names we will never know. BUT, what people fail to recall is that Mississippi today is home to the world's first successful human lung transplant, the 6th best Public High School in the nation, the International Ballet Competition, and many notable people such as Oprah Winfrey, William Faulkner, Brett Favre, Swae Lee, Elvis Presley, Britney Spears, and countless others.
While a new statue will not repair the wrongs of the past, it can prepare rights for the future of Mississippi.