HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Less than a week away from one of the biggest Spring Break weekends on record for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, preparations are underway. While some may be reluctant to leave their homes because of the traffic, others feel that Spring Break shouldn't make a return to the coast at all.
"I personally, as NAACP president, would wish that we would not come down here at all because we should not be spending all this money with people who don't want to change that flag and change that perception of Mississippi," said James Crowell, President of the Biloxi NAACP.
The perception that Crowell is talking about is the idea that Mississippi is unwelcoming to black spring breakers. Less than 60 years ago, black people couldn't step foot on Mississippi's beaches. He says he finds it ironic that now, when thousands of black people choose to spend one weekend a year on them, it still seems to cause issues year after year.
"Well, it's a public beach. I think it needs to be open to the public. Dr. Mason fought for that. He and those that went in the wade-ins back in the 60s for black people to have access to the beach."
Crowell doesn't deny that the crowds can become wild during the weekend, and he firmly believes that those people should be held responsible for their actions.
"You're always going to have some bad apples when you have that many folks and those people need to be dealt with. If they come down here to start trouble, then they need to be dealt with."
But he doesn't see the need for residents to get bent out of shape for three days.
"We can live comfortably together here and allow these young people to enjoy themselves and not create a big hassle or problem."
He also says extra eyes will be on the beaches to ensure the visitors are treated fairly.
"There will be people out there looking."
The Gulfport Branch of the NAACP will be out all weekend to check on the spring breakers and make sure that the state of things remains in order, and that everyone can relax and enjoy themselves.