Brian Boykins will be missed

Published 6:25 pm Saturday, July 28, 2018

By Yolande Robbins

Brian Boykins will soon step down as Chief of Staff to Mayor George Flaggs Jr., and chief civic servant for the rest of us. And I honestly don’t believe Vicksburg has ever had someone as fine as he is in that office. On Aug. 24, when he leaves, he breaks the mold.

I’ve known Brian’s family — and Brian — all my life. He has made his way and fame apart from all the other notable achievers in that family. I think especially of his mom and grandmom, who’d be so proud of him now.

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I like his quietness most of all. Brian has such easy affability wherever you encounter him, at City Hall or at the Boston Fish Market. He is so dependably accountable in his work. You hardly ever know he’s there or doing something. Yet he’s the magic that makes it work. He’s the one we don’t see; never see.

Brian has never forgotten or let go of anything I’ve asked him to do. But he’s never let me gum up the works either. I remember him sidling up to me on more than one occasion and saying, “We have to get going on this. The mayor is due in Jackson at…” And I know I’m not the only one with that memory. Ever at his side, Brian was his faithful companion.

Mr. Brown, I know, will miss him for Beulah. He was always there for us, relentless and patient, Monday through Friday and many Saturdays too.

“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter”, and Brian was that to us, to Vicksburg entirely, and to our Mayor distinctively.  Yet he was quiet and always self-effacing. Unlike so many in the public eye, he never tried to be “the bride at every wedding or the corpse at every funeral.” He never sought or tried to be eye-catching or the center of attention. He was the consummate man behind the scenes.

Brian too was born at a time when it might still have been impossible, and certainly unlikely, that any young black man could ever serve the city in this way. Someone, someday, might get elected. But no one would get picked. Can you imagine the character and competence it took to overcome those odds? Yet here he is, a model of achievement, and because of him, our city has become a model too.

Now we all certainly expect he will go higher too. It certainly takes courage to move to something new, and away from what is known. The Mayor’s going to miss him greatly. He has told us so.

So I hope that all of you will go say bye and thanks to Brian.

And to the mayor too.

Out of all his choices and decisions, this was his very best.


Yolande Robbins is a community correspondent for The Vicksburg Post. You may email her at