Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi

Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40 Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40
Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40 Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40
Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40 Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40
Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40 Fox 40 Special Report: Young Mississippi - Source: Fox 40
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is often portrayed poorly to others across the country.

It's believed by many to be a state of uneducated, poor people still dealing full time with racism.

A small group of Clinton High School seniors met at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum to give their perspective on our state.

They represent different races, socioeconomic backgrounds and challenges.

However, these kids all have one thing in common -- they plan to change the way the world sees the Magnolia State.

Initially, seven Clinton High School seniors were asked to take their cell phones and tour the Mississippi Civil Right's Museum.

Seniors Calvert White, Trinity Thomas, Shannon Lacy, Ashton Custer, Braxton Davis, Tanner DeYoung and Herleen Kaur all agreed to participate.

Then they gathered inside the Separate But Equal classroom to talk Mississippi.

When asked to describe Mississippi, they all responded with their thoughts. 

“It seems that no matter how much time transpires, we are still last to make any major reforms," said Calvert. "It's like every time some major thing happens, Mississippi is dead last.“

“Are the the Ku Klux Klan still riding around?" Braxton chimed in. "No grandma!”

Shannon shared her thoughts, “sot 16 "I feel like people think that we're dumb and we're slow and we can't get along with each other," said Shannon. "But, I feel like we've advanced and we're really connected.

And clearly not dumb. 

They all had opinions they weren't scared to share, about all things Mississippi.

“The flag is being used as a stereotype for us being racist and I think getting rid of the flag would help that, because a lot of those stereotypes stem from it as a symbol of our state,” said Tanner.

“I don't think the flag in and of itself is an offensive flag -- it's a flag," Shannon echoed. "But the way people parade it around and throw it at people and force their opinions on people, along with the flag, is what is causing the problem.”

“Honestly, we can go to the one that’s on the wall in there," said Trinity. "Yeah, we saw it in the other gallery. Like I don't understand the problem. Why do we have to keep it around? It makes no sense to me.”

I asked, “Tell me one thing you guys are proud of when it comes to the state of Mississippi.”

“We've come a long way and I believe we have an even longer way to go, but still, we are making good change,” said Braxton.

“Frankly this museum," shared Tanner. "I'm proud that we can admit that have done wrong and we can move forward, and we should move forward.”

Of the seven, at least two plan to go to college out of state, but all have plans to return.

They want to use their talents to uplift, inspire and motivate the next generation.

“I want to work with different diseases and try to figure out how they work and what treatments work the best," said Ashton of her future plans. "And better healthcare for my state and everyone else in the country.”

“I know this sounds weird, but the fact that we are seen as rock bottom, our accomplishments in this room will seem better once we get to the top," shared Trinity.

And getting to the top, for this group, means not forgetting where they came from.

And reaching back.

“We have the opportunity to show the rest of the country, that Mississippi,  we aren't as bad as you think we are,” said Trinity.

And the conversation ended with things coming full circle -- the past meeting the future for the very first time.

One of the students, during his tour, found a photo of his great grandfather among the photos of Freedom Riders.

Further convincing this future educator, that his time to act is now.

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