JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Two Confederate statues represent the State of Mississippi in our nation’s Capitol. A Madison teenager is working to change that, crusading for two years to remove the figures.
“There’s more to Mississippi than we’re currently telling,” said Alicia Argrett. The seventeen-year-old is on a mission to remove the Confederate statues in National Statuary Hall.
The School of Mathematics and Sciences graduate believes the images of Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy and Confederate Colonel James Zachariah George no longer reflect the Magnolia State.
"I think a lot of people realize that it's not about erasing history, but it's more about highlighting other aspects of what Mississippi has to offer," said Argrett. "I definitely think we have a lot more to offer than what we're telling the world today".
While visiting Washington D.C., Argrett said she was surprised by the negative reactions she received when people learned she was from Mississippi. So, she created the website modelmississippi.com and a week ago she posted a petition to gather signatures to replace the statues.
“Great alternatives to who we have today would be Medgar Evers, Jim Henson, Elvis Presley, Eudora Welty, Fannie Lou Hamer, Hiram Rhodes Revels - any of those would be great,” added the ambitious campaign organizer.
Argrett wants to be a neurosurgeon and plans to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall.
"While something may be a certain way in the present, that's not how it has to remain in the future," said Argrett. "I think it's important for us to acknowledge the past and learn from the mistakes and the accomplishments with the past and try to do what we can to make the future better".
The aspiring plastic surgeon came up with the idea while working toward the Girl Scout Gold Award two years ago.