Twenty-one year old, crown winner, Courtney Roxanne Pearson, was elected in a vote of 1,477 votes, compared to 1,387 ballots cast for Ashleigh Davis of Gulfport, MS. On the main campus, the school has nearly seventeen-thousand students. School-wide, the number extends to 20, 844 (Wikipedia)
Founded in 1844, and admitting its first students in 1848, the University of Mississippi, had been taken over during The Civil War, serving as an hospital, and cemetery for soldiers on both sides.
Look at how far we've come. The state participated in slave ownership as did all of the American south's "Black Belt" at the time. From one survey, according to the university website, in the town of Oxford, Mississippi: "In 1840 there were 3,689 whites in the county of which 2,018 were males and 1,658 females, during the same period. This compares with 2,842 slaves, composed of 1,412 males and 1,430 females, during the same period. In 1850 whites increased to 8,346 and slaves expanded to 5,719.
Yet, today, a black, scholar with excellent academic achievements now represents the venerated school as a figurehead, elected by her peers. Some fifty years ago, she would not have been allowed to enroll because she was black.
Society is evolving, slowly, but surely, and I pray that people will just let the woman enjoy her prize, without haters ragging on her race or her size. I pray that she will be allowed to savor this honor and achievement in peace. I'm really going to pray on that, though I know it won't be so. People who don't like change... people with small minds and smaller hearts, will ALWAYS find SOMETHING to denigrate. Or to spoil.
If we are being honest with ourselves, yes... we have an African-American, bi-racial man in the highest office in the land, yet people still call him The "N" Word --- just as naturally as giving someone the time of day. Despite his demonstrated excellence, intellect, parenting, successful marriage and, arguably, more accolades, and achievements, than one could shake a stick at... in some people's minds--- just as I have, am and will continue to be seen by certain people (and called by them) --- as just "another nigger". It is the FIRST epithet that haters reach for... normally preceded by the intensifier "fucking". Whether they speak it aloud or not.
This enormous, spectacular, sea change outrages a segment of our society and some people just can't get over it. Some people are so unnerved, that they recite volumes of lies, half-truths and vitriol, in a blatant effort to get things "back to normal". All the while, declaring that it's nothing to do with his race. Some of us who don't say the word, certainly think it internally. Then there are some of us, who are truly evolved, open and smart enough to recognize the beauty and bounty of diversity.
And enough of all that "Post-Racial" palaver! There are still entire organizations lying in wait, to attempt to shift the balance of control, back to the "good ole days". Just because of my appearance, a Blatino male, I am automatically and historically a target. We all know it is true. Sadly.
Congratulations, Ms. Pearson! You are surpassing, presumed and applied or perceived limitations with grace, intellect, beauty and elegance! Keep your head up! You possess all the qualities of a true lady! Bravissima! There is, absolutely, not one thing wrong with pursuing, or demanding, excellence!
Now--- on another note--- I remain slightly gobsmacked that a southern school, a public one, would have selected legendary, Yankee, Ivy-Leaguers', Harvard crimson and Yale blue as their colors. No matter. Clearly, color is of little, or no, consequence, or barrier, at this institution or with their student body.
I LOVE having a front row seat to the twenty-first century!