A celebration with a mission
By Gail M. Brown
Following what has been described as an “elegant” reception, Satuday night, June, 23, the 2nd edition of “Who’s Who In Black Mississippi” was unveiled at the Jackson Convention Center.
The unveiling of the book’s cover sparked a wave of applaud from the audience as they saw the images of five of Mississippi’s historic leading political figures embossed in a glossy and colorful design.
Those individuals are former Rep. Robert G. Clark, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, Sen. Alice Harden, Rep. Alyce Clarke and Congressman Bennie Thompson.
“People say we have the most appointed and elected official than any state in the nation. I said well who are they and where are they? So that was our mission for this edition,” said Mississippi Publisher Dr. Juanita Sims Doty.
Although all of them are not featured, this year’s book is a tribute to more than 950 black elected and appointed officials in the state.
Among individuals honored in the second edition for their achievements are the state’s 49 legislators, 86 mayors, military and judicial appointments, and hundreds of other Mississippi citizens. “I am both humbled and honored to be among those featured in the book,” said Rev. Audrey Lynne Hall, pastor of Holy Temple Missionary Baptist Church. “I am grateful to God for the recognition. This truly means a lot to this country girl who grew up in Enterprise, Miss.
Hall made history as the first female to pastor a missionary baptist church in the city of Jackson. Through her ministry and her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she has been involved in a number of community service projects.
Doty said the book is a documentation of the outstanding African-Americans of whom Mississippi is proud. “As I travel, I can open this book and show them to people when they ask me about Mississippi,” she said.
“Everyone knows they do not have to leave Mississippi in order to do well.
Congressman Thompson wrote the foreword for this edition, and Mayor Johnny Dupree of Hattiesburg, Miss. wrote the introduction. Thompson made remarks during the unveiling.
Doty hopes that school districts and other learning institutions will see the book as a viable periodical to be used as an educational tool. Nominations are now being accepted for the next edition.
To purchase the recent edition of “Who’s Who In Black Mississippi,” call (614) 481-7300.