Robert Coleman first black circuit clerk in Yazoo City

June 6, 2012 in News, Statewide News

From The Delta Business Journal

YAZOO CITY – Robert Coleman is used to creating and teaching, and now that he’s the first African-American to sit behind the Yazoo County Circuit Clerk desk, he’s ready to adjust his skills to better help the county.

The former teacher is finding out his new gig can be a “moving target” and the teaching plan has to be adjusted.

“The biggest challenge is adapting to our situation in that it’s not the same thing everyday,” Coleman says.

As the circuit clerk, Coleman’s duties include keeping all the records for the circuit court, being the registrar for the county and issuing marriage licenses. The Yazoo City native was elected and began his first term in January.

“I wanted to make a difference in my county,” he says. “In this position, I can be beneficial to the whole county.”

Coleman knows that he can’t do it by himself and understands that teamwork and finding success lies in working together as a team in the circuit clerk office. And he’s getting plenty of support from the community in addition to them voting him into office.

“I have a lot of people come by and congratulate, and they come by to see how things are going,” he says. “Students and residents from young and old to people who really don’t know me to friends.”

The Jackson State University graduate started an imprint apparel business -Creations – in 1999 and has been teaching Digital Arts in the Yazoo City municipal school district. Coleman is using the technology from that experience.

“We are just trying to make every day more ‘modernized’ by using social media and technology. Everything has been run a certain way for so long,” he says. “Right now I’m in an assessing process to see how things work and how we can improve them.”

One of the first projects for Coleman is to move Yazoo County voters from older, blue voter registration cards and into the more modern cards.

“The new cards go through a computer system and are printed,” he explains.

Married with three kids, Coleman still enjoys being an artist and creating fine art with his airbrushing skills. Though he hasn’t been “tagging” county property with his artistic skills, he has put plenty of customers into his “wearable art” out and about in the city and county. Some of his artwork was on display at the Ricks Memorial Library during February’s Black History month and at the Yazoo County Fair.