‘We are a part of history;’ Young Miss. voters react to historic vote to remove state flag

Updated: Jun. 28, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Many young people in Mississippi have been on the front lines for change.

Over the past few weeks we have seen fearless young leaders hungry for positive social action.

They said they are proud the House and Senate voted to change the state flag. They believe it is a step in the right direction for future generations.

Young people were fired up about this historic weekend, many of them joining the chorus of young activists for social justice and change in Mississippi.

“I am really part of history and I’m like, this is crazy,” said Jordan Jefferson.

Jefferson is a recent graduate of Jackson State University, he says he has a passion for all things Mississippi.

So, instead of being at home this weekend, he was at the State Capitol watching history unfold.

“We are the last state in the union to have a Confederate emblem on our flag, and if Mississippi can make a drastic change like that we can do anything. I’m very excited about what we’re going to do next,” said Jefferson.

“To be in this moment we, young people, have literally pushed the envelope and said this is a moment that is pregnant with opportunity,” said Arekia Bennett.

Bennett is also part of the new generation of change, at 27 years old she is the Executive Director of Mississippi Votes.

She says to watch lawmakers vote to change the Confederate emblem that has been flying over the state for more than 120 years is mind blowing.

Bennett said, “I hadn’t known the history of the flag the entire 27 years because public schools didn’t teach us that. They taught us that it was our flag, and then you grow up and you learn that doesn’t belong to me at all.”

Cayln Stringfellow couldn’t agree more.

In fact, she along with several other organizations, hosted a community rally.

Her peers were too young to vote in 2001 when Mississippi voters rejected a new flag.

She says now her generation can have a say in something that unifies not divides the state.

“We are a part of history. We are making history this weekend. Like you said, 19 years ago they voted on the flag and nothing changed and they weren’t even listening to us about the flag and how it made us feel. Here we are 19 years later and we are able to make some change and I am here for all the change,” said Stringfellow.

A voter registration drive was held outside Jackson City Hall to motivate more young people to register to vote.

New voters have until September to register to vote in order to cast a ballot on November 3rd.

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