I’ve lived in Georgia since 2004 but will also be a Mississippi girl. I was born in Hopewell, Virginia, but grew up in Mississippi from the age of only a few months until I moved to Athens nearly 17 summers ago to begin my assistantship training and to prepare for grad school. I have fond memories of spending time in the Delta with my grandparents, the two most important people in my life.
I also am a product of Jackson Public Schools, having attended schools in the district from kindergarten to 12th grade. I visited the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi during my senior year of high school and fell in love with it, finding myself moving into Scott Hall in August of 2000. I have lived in Georgia almost as long as did in Mississippi, but the Magnolia State will forever be home to me.
Therefore, this USA Today article also has special significance to me. Many of the women on this list have had an impact on my life. Here are two in particular:
I can recall hearing the news about an elderly woman who donated $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi for scholarships. In 2002, a residence hall was named in Oseola McCarty’s honor and later, in 2020, a statue. A fitting tribute for a legend.
Fannie Lou Hamer
My great-aunt Luvenia lived in Ruleville, Mississippi, and my grandmother often would take me and my brother to see her and our cousins. I would also look for my landmark — the “Home of Fannie Lou Hamer” sign — to let me know we were getting close. Today, her presence can be seen in monumental ways.
I, too, aim to be of significance to my state in one way or another. McCarty and Hamer both demonstrate how one’s purpose (regardless of age, gender, or otherwise) can truly be historical and life-changing.
I will forever be proud to be a Mississippi Girl.
(Fun Fact: The first time I heard this song by Faith Hill, I cried. I was new to Georgia and terribly homesick!)
Let’s Do This: Where are you from?