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Mississippi has the highest percentage of African Americans in the country and boasts the highest number of elected Black officials, but it is also highly segregated and rather committed to its long history of racial divisions between its Black and white citizens.

The recent victory by Hattiesburg’s Miss. Mayor Johnny DuPree, who won the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor and could become the first Black politician elected to a statewide office since Reconstruction, illustrates a state that despite its people of color, continues to be quite conservative.

The Grio reports:

Racial districting, brought on by the Voting Rights Act, has guaranteed minority representation in the form of majority-black districts in Mississippi and elsewhere in the South. However, the unintended result has been racial polarization, with increasingly white conservative districts surrounding these black districts…

The unequal treatment of blacks and whites in Mississippi extends to the criminal justice system. For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that black children in the Magnolia State are incarcerated at twice the rate of white children, usually for low-level nonviolent offenses.

Read more at the Grio.

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