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MFP Voices

Racism and White Fragility: A History of Overlooking Black Valedictorians

I conclude that the decisions to force Black students to share top honors with white students result from a psychological discomfort known as “white fragility.” This is a state of stress experienced by some white people when they are presented with information about people of color that challenges their sense of entitlement. I maintain that when students of color are named top students in their graduating class, as Shepard was in 2016, white society may begin to fear that students of color are encroaching upon their social turf.

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A young Black woman in a colorful striped t-shirt and medical mask with a fist raised in the foreground of a protest
MFP Voices

‘Power to My People’: Critical Race Theory Sparks Student Activism, Improves Academics

As a researcher who specializes in youth activism, I have conducted research on and with youth organizing groups in which critical race theory is a core component of the political education. Eighty-two percent of youth organizing groups regularly offer political education, which involves a critical examination of social issues, usually through workshops and group discussions.

My research–along with that of other scholars–points to three important outcomes for young people who are taught critical race theory as part of youth organizing.

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Summer Camp children
Culture

Rooted in Unity and Defiance, Operation Shoestring Innovates to Serve Children During Pandemic

The Shoestring team not only worried for themselves and their own families as the pandemic ascended, but for the children of high-poverty Georgetown and MidCity neighborhoods in Jackson where the organization has been providing support for 53 years. Its goals are to ensure access to education, health and self-sufficiency services for Jackson Public Schools students in grades pre-K through 12.

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Students reading
News

Lt. Gov. Appoints Former Publisher Bill Jacobs to State Board of Education, Closing Gaps

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann announced his appointment of Bill Jacobs, formerly the publisher of the Brookhaven Daily Leader and the Prentiss Headlight, to the Mississippi State Board of Education on Tuesday. Jacobs, already serving on the boards of the National Newspaper Association and the Mississippi Economic Council’s operating board, is Hosemann’s second appointment to the undersized Board of Education in a year.

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MFP Voices

Support American Workers and Kids: Expand Child Tax Credit Permanently

As part of the American Rescue Plan passed in March, the Biden Administration increased the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and middle-income workers. We are going to see millions of lives improved over the next year because of these changes, only to be erased when these provisions expire in 2022. We cannot let that happen. We must make these provisions permanent.

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Far East Deep South Poster – Horizontal
Culture

A Father’s Story: Chinese Family Confronts Jim Crow, U.S. Exclusion in Mississippi Delta

The film “Far East Deep South” follows Charles Chiu and his family’s journey from California to Mississippi in hopes of finding answers about his father and the filmmakers’ grandfather K. C. Lou. While the family learns about the life of K.C. Lou and his contributions to the surrounding communities in Pace, Miss., just northwest of Cleveland in Bolivar County, they also learn some harsh truths about life for Asian Americans living in the deep South during Jim Crow. 

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In-Depth

Systemic Racism Built Mississippi. Gov. Reeves Says It Doesn’t Exist.

On the penultimate day of the Confederate Heritage Month, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves made a bold declaration: “There is not systemic racism in America.” The announcement, if it were true, could come as a relief to the 38% of Mississippians who are Black. But around 16% of those residents will not have the opportunity to express their gratitude to the governor in the next election because they are systematically disenfranchised due to an 1890 Jim Crow felony voting law.

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Welcome to Mississippi sign
MFP Voices

Banking Deserts Hinder Educational, Economic Growth in Black Mississippi Communities

The duplicitous nature of the relationship between policy makers and Wall Street opens the door to predatory lenders who prey on disenfranchised residents whose only access to banking is check cashing centers, payday-loan stores and ATMs. Major banking institutions like Wells Fargo and TD Bank have agreed to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution for illegal practices that targeted ADOS and other marginalized consumers. 

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