FRAZIER: The unspeakable need not prevail over 31 voices

Published 4:00 am Sunday, February 5, 2023

This week the headlines of The Vicksburg Post were covered with news of 13-year-old, Carleone Woodland, who was shot and killed Monday night.

Also reported was the arrest of three more teens, 16-year-old Demetrius Cormier, 16-year-old Phillip Moore Jr. and 19-year-old Koury Lawrence who are charged with his murder.

Let’s just say it all together — this is beyond horrible in so many ways.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

One mother will be burying her son, while three will more than likely see theirs locked away for life.

And this heinous incident did not just affect the family and friends of the young men involved. This is news that reverberates through the community and beyond.

Questions of safety in our city will surface and talk of “how bad the youth have become” will be shared.

Yes, this is a sad, sad moment for Vicksburg, but we must not let the actions of a few define who we are.

This week, I wrote a story about 31 youths who have excelled in music and have been chosen to participate in the All-State Honor Choir. Our Sports Editor, Ernest Bowker, has been writing about kids who have earned sports-related college scholarships because of their dedication, drive and determination. And in a few months, hundreds of local students will receive their high school diplomas.

But unfortunately, it is the three teens who are charged with first-degree murder that will reflect on our city.

While we can all moan and groan about today’s youth, the fact is the number of teens in Vicksburg who are striving for a worthwhile future far outweigh those who are misguided. And they need to be recognized.

Unfortunately, we can’t put all the kids in the community on the front page who act sensibly — so maybe we could let them know verbally how much they and their actions are valued.

Just like us adults who appreciate it when our bosses or peers recognize us when we have done something good, young people, too, like praise when they have excelled or accomplished a goal.

Like I said earlier, there are 31 local young people who have made the All-State Honor choir and I listed all 31 in my story — so if you know and see one of these students, congratulate them.

Praise goes a long way. And who knows, maybe if these young men who went astray had had some praise earlier on, perhaps they would have followed a different path.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart