PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Curley Clark has looked at the state flag more times than many, and what he sees never changes.
“I see something that’s going to divide us as Mississippians,” he said. “And I’m hoping that its day is coming to an end.”
The chance of that happening is greater now than it ever has been as the voices against the current flag grow louder and larger.
Those voices include entertainers and even political leaders.
“It really warms my heart because what you see is that people, whoever they are - black or white, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, Jew or gentile - people are coming together and saying, ‘Hey, look. Now’s the time to do this,’ " Clark said.
So, if you ask Clark how he’s doing, he’ll tell you he’s happy.
In fact, he’s the happiest he’s been in decades.
“I’m extremely happy because it looks like I’m coming to the end of a long journey,” he said.
This has been a 40-year battle for Clark, who has been the president of the Jackson County NAACP since 1980. While he’s happy now, he knows the job isn’t finished yet.
“It’ll be a relief after it’s finished,” he said. “But I can smell the coffee.”
The sweetener in that coffee is the Mississippi Legislature, as members are in the early processes of a probable flag change, possibly as early as this weekend.
And if it does happen?
“I’ll just thank God,” he said. “I’ll thank God for allowing me to live long enough to see it happen because there were times when I didn’t think I’d be able to see it during my lifetime.”
He said he wants this change for his family as well as his state.
“My daughter and my grandkids will realize that we were trying to do some things so they wouldn’t have to go through the same things that I went through as far as discrimination and racism,” Clark said.