By Hannah Humphreys
Growing up in Mississippi, I have seen the good and the bad. I am from New Albany, just a small county over from Oxford. My perception of Mississippi is constantly changing.
Although it is where I will forever call home, I see it in such a different light from other natives. Mississippi is a state half forgotten and half scrutinized. This is why Mississippi is always perceived the way it is.
Mississippi is filled with an immense amount of history characterized by the Civil War and the civil rights movement. Both of these events shaped the way Mississippi would be seen, rather than delving into its non-violent history.
Music, art, poetry, novels and inventions should be acknowledged by non-natives and other skeptical natives. This is what we should focus on rather than focusing so much on the past and whatever came from those eras.
I think the majority of my friends have the same opinion as I about the perception of our state. Others from different states and the media think we’re a poor state in all aspects divided into the Delta and Coast with nothing else in between.
There was once an incident when the media referenced Mississippi as a “landmass.” The only other time Mississippi is in the news is when racists make a comment about the state, policies, etc. Although some of these claims are true, the majority are alternative facts, and are not necessarily true about Mississippi and its people.
The name for my campaign is “M-I-Crooked Letter..” The purpose is to show that although Mississippi has had a crooked past, there is a bright future ahead, including innovation, technology, and the all-together new, positive perception Mississippi will be able to evoke.
Others I asked said Mississippi was “behind in technology.” I think marketing Mississippi’s new advancements will give people a different perspective on the Magnolia State.
First, I will research all new technological advances our state has had through engineering, medical, farming and other fields. Highlighting these through a series of press releases and social media stories will break the barrier of the “hick town, redneck” stereotype. I would also host a campaign that brings all innovators together for a dinner or possibly a convention inviting all Mississippi residents to view the latest achievements.
Creating a website for updates on each field of advancement will be accessible for people to view, and they can comment, express ideas and views, and share their own innovations if applicable.
Word of mouth and continuous advertisement on social media would be best for this campaign. People would realize there is more to the state than agriculture and fried everything.
Another perk is bringing all universities together to discuss what changes could be made at each school (specifically in the stated fields) and how this will directly affect the state. This will draw more attention to the younger age group, resulting in older generations understanding how important it is to break the stereotype.
Something I would have done differently is research some of the past events, if any, related to my campaign and how successful those were. I would draw from those ideas and expand on them through marketing.
I would have a spokesperson go to high schools to discuss the advancements and how young students can become the next innovators and creators.
I have never really thought about my perception of Mississippi. I’ve always just seen it as a place where I grew up. Now that I have heard and seen other people’s opinions about Mississippi, it makes me realize how much of a change should be made to bring purpose back to M-I-Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter-I-Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter-I-Humpback, Humpback-I.