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SWAC, a Gulfport Tragedy and Voting Impact

Can y’all believe it’s the middle of October? Here in Mississippi, the temps aren’t exactly cool, but one is tempted to wear a sweater. It’s usually a bad idea, but we’re almost there. It’s football season, and there’s a lot of talk about who’s SWAC or who’s not SWAC after the dust-up between Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders and Alabama State Coach Eddie Robinson Jr. Check out the videos for full context, but JSU played ASU for ASU’s homecoming game. JSU won, and Coach Robinson was not happy when the coaches met at the end of the game. It devolved into dueling press conferences.

My parents, aunts and uncles went to JSU. I’m a member of the Divine Nine and will beat the pants off you in Spades, so I’m SWACish. I was thrilled to end my week talking with one of the most brilliant people I know. Dr. D’Andra Orey is a political science professor at Jackson State who received his undergraduate degree from Mississippi Valley State University, so he’s definitely SWAC. Deputy Editor Azia Wiggins and I had a terrific time chatting with him about everything from voting rights to the natural hair and colorism study he did with his wife, Erin Shirley Orey. You can watch the replay on YouTube or Facebook.

Last week was another one of rich, deep and complex stories where our team serves the community like no other news outlet. Kayode Crown dropped two important pieces. Please read his coverage of 15-year-old Jaheim McMillan death by Gulfport police. One of my Twitter friends said she’s tired of these headlines. We all are. That’s why it’s imperative that our state has reporters like Kayode who do journalism thoroughly.

Kayode also continues his consistent coverage of Jackson’s garbage contract dispute, which affects so many people in the majority-Black capital city. If you need to catch up, read the full series. As far as I’m concerned, Kayode’s work is canon.

Late Friday, we learned that the national NAACP Legal Defense Fund and numerous other organizations have written Secretary of State Michael Watson over Ashton and Liam

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