June 25, 2010, will still go down in history as a memorable day in Mississippi when we unveiled our Inaugural Edition of Who’s Who in Black Mississippi. That, indeed, was a proud day for all of us. June 23, 2012, two years later, we are now unveiling our second edition. We have two volumes of African-American leaders who help to make Mississippi a great place to live. Congratulations to you, Black Mississippi!
We certainly thank God for His guidance, grace, and His goodness to see these volumes become a reality. Yes, this Historic publication pays tribute to Black elected and appointed officials across our state. We are proud to boast of having the largest number of Black elected and appointed officials of any state in our nation. We are delighted to have special sections for our Black Legislators, our Black Mayors and many of our Black Judges and other officials. This is, indeed, a start in documenting who we are in our state. I am also delighted that we are honoring our military: The Mississippi National Guard. We have so many of our talented men and women who are serving us at home and abroad.
We thank you for your outstanding service. And, of course there are other influential African-Americans from various professions who are honored in this edition. Sincere appreciation is extended to Congressman Bennie Thompson for agreeing, early on, to write the foreword. When we asked him to be our foreword writer, he did not hesitate to answer ’yes’. We thank you Congressman Thompson for not only agreeing to join us in this edition but for your continued great service to the 2nd Congressional District, our entire state and indeed the nation. We are also appreciative of Mayor Johnny DuPree for writing our introduction. He, too, did not hesitate to agree to be a part of this edition.
Congratulations on being the first African American to be elected as the Democratic nominee for governor for the state of Mississippi. Congratulations to all of our Interesting Personalities who have given so much of their time, talents and resources to be outstanding leaders in our state. We know when our children look through this publication; they will know that they can become anything they want to be because they see you and your success. We are delighted to honor you! Thank you to the many members of our host committee who assisted us in getting photos , biographies , letters, contributions and the many other pieces it took to get this publication completed. Our appreciation goes to Karla McCullough, Roslyn Knox- Lockett, Yolanda McElroy, Lori Jackson Stewart and Geilia Taylor.
We appreciate our writers: Byron D’Andra Orey, Othor Cain, Pam Berry and Don Thomas. Jay Johnson, our photographer, always does an outstanding job. Please help me give a standing ovation to our sponsors who supported this edition. Thank you for your commitment to diversity in our state and to ensuring that our stories are told and documented. Real Times Media President, Mr. Hiram Jackson, and the Who’s Who Publishing staff, we appreciate your dedication to documenting who we are across the country. Tamara Allen and Carter Womack make a great team to get our books published and in the hands of people everywhere. Now that we have had the unveiling and we all begin to turn the pages through this historic document, I hope all of us will purchase a book and put it in the hands of our children or place it in schools or libraries so that our young people will have a chance to see who we are in Mississippi. They will look through these pages and know that they can be a judge, an elected official, a president of a university, an entrepreneur, an attorney, a general in the military, a healthcare professional or for sure, a great community leader. And they can be any one of these leaders, right here in their own state: Mississippi.
Juanita Sims Doty