Five stories to read this week from across the South

Here is your weekly look at interesting stories from around the South that challenge us and celebrate us. The American South roundup includes stories and galleries from USA TODAY Network news organizations across our Southern states.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that 38 confederate monuments have been removed in the U.S., following the death of George Floyd and the wave of protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Tennessee made unauthorized camping on state property a felony, a bill aimed at curbing the Black Lives Matter protests at the state Capitol. Country superstar Dolly Parton threw her support behind the Black Lives Matter protests in her home state of Tennessee and across the nation. “Do we think our little white a—- are the only ones that matter? No!” she said.

After retiring a state flag that included the Confederate battle flag, Mississippi asked residents for new designs. A deckhand whipped up a flag that featured a mosquito, which was mistakenly included among the finalists. “The mosquitoes, it’s their state. We’re just living in it,” said flag designer Thomas Rosete, who has enjoyed the attention brought by his cheeky entry.

Stein Mart, the discount clothing retailer founded in Mississippi and now based in Florida, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close all 281 of its stores. Started in 1908, Stein Mart grew to become a regional chain in the 1990s.

In rapid ‘reckoning,’ SPLC reports 38 Confederate monuments have been removed in US since George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day

Nearly as many Confederate statues have been removed in less than three months since George Floyd’s death as were removed in three previous years. Floyd died in police custody after a Minneapolis police offer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, pushing forward a national outcry against racial injustice and brutality. 

Tennessee legislature cracks down on protesters, making it a felony to camp overnight outside Capitol

Protesters who are a part of the Black Lives Matter movement across the country, have set up outside the Tennessee Capitol for more than two months. The state’s legislature recently approved a bill that would make it easier for state troopers to charge those assembling outside the Capitol. 

Dolly Parton on racial justice movement: ‘Of course Black lives matter’

Parton made the comments about the protest movement in a wide-ranging interview with Billboard Magazine. In the interview she says, “there is no such thing as innocent ignorance..”

EXCLUSIVE: Meet the man behind Mississippi’s Mosquito Flag

The Mosquito Flag briefly advanced in the selection process for a new Mississippi flag. Turns out, it was a mistake. Mississippi is in the process of selecting a new state flag after removing its previous flag, which upheld Confederate symbolism.

Stein Mart to close all stores in bankruptcy amid COVID-19 pandemic. Liquidation sales expected to start soon

Off-price retailer Stein Mart is the latest in a long list of businesses to file for bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will close all stores.

News tips? Story ideas? Questions? Call reporter Todd Price at 504-421-1542 or email him at Sign up for The American South newsletter.


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