Exploring the Racial and Ethnic Diversity of Southern Mississippi

The state of Mississippi has a long and complex history when it comes to race and ethnicity. Despite its reputation for racism, the state has seen a great deal of cultural exchange between African-American and white Southerners, resulting in a unique blend of musical traditions. The area was first claimed by the French, who called it New France, and later by the Spanish, who claimed part of the Gulf Coast area east of Mobile Bay. Today, Mississippi is home to a diverse population, with Harrison County being the only exception.

Here, casinos can be built on the southern border. In 2003, Sonia Cherail Peeples, who is black, met her husband Michael Peeples, who is white, while they were both students at the University of Southern Mississippi. This is indicative of the rapid growth in mixed-race populations in Hattiesburg and surrounding counties. In 1890, Mississippi enacted a law prohibiting interracial marriage, which was later repealed in Virginia after being deemed unconstitutional.

This has allowed people to more accurately portray their racial heritage without fear of suppression. In 1860, 80 percent of the 800 free black inhabitants of Mississippi were of mixed racial descent. This number has only grown since then; today, the proportion of multiracial people under 18 years old in Mississippi is higher than that of the general population. When it comes to weather patterns, thunderstorms are common throughout Mississippi, with northern parts experiencing more tornadoes at the beginning of the year and southern parts having a higher frequency at the end.

Snowfall is occasional in southern parts of the state. Late summer and fall are also when hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico are most likely to move inland.

Abby Parrett
Abby Parrett

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