by Bekah Ervin
Governor Phil Bryant recently made a calendar update for the state of Mississippi. In late February, Gov. Bryant issued his proclamation of “Confederate History Month” for the month of April. With the racial issues already existing in the region, this decision has aroused more conflict within the state. A Millsaps freshman and Jackson native, Adria Walker, provides her thoughts on the matter.
Walker gave some insight on the possible reasoning foe this recent declaration. “This is not the first time Mississippi has recognized Confederate History Month,” she states. “I think what makes this celebration of the month different is that it was done at the request of the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans shortly before 19 bills that might have changed the current state flag died in committee.” She mentions seeing this request on the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans’ website.
Because Walker is a Mississippian, the news did not serve the same shock value for her as it did to non-natives. “I knew about Confederate Memorial Day, so Confederate History Month came as no surprise to me. That said, as a native Mississippian, I was embarrassed for my state that our governor would make such an obtuse proclamation. As a human being, I was quite offended.”
As the editorial assistant at the Jackson Free Press, Walker plans to write a column about this state-wide “celebration” declared by the governor. She gives some insight about the narrative of her column by stating, “This is a problem because one group’s ‘heritage’ and ‘history’ is glorified and literally memorialized, though it was created at the expense of another. Anyone who says that the
Civil War was fought over anything other than continuing slavery is either lying or hasn’t bothered to do any research.” She tries to put the recent controversial declaration in perspective and continues by stating, “I’m willing to learn about the ‘history’ of Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, as long as that includes why the war was fought and narratives from enslaved people.”