Charles Young worked to better state he loved

JACKSON — Several years ago, Charles Young, D-Meridian, was asked to be on a panel because of his position as chair of the House Universities and Colleges Committee.

Young made a lot of points that day, but he placed the greatest emphasis not on universities and higher education, but on providing early childhood education. He said for the state to progress that must happen.

Now everyone from Republican Gov. Haley Barbour on down is talking about the importance of early childhood education. When Young made his points, everyone was not. It would have been easy for Young that day to just talk about the universities and colleges that he provided oversight of as chair of the House committee. That is what members of the audience expected.

But Young was talking about what he believed was important for the progress of the state.

Charles Young died Wednesday morning. He has had physical limitations in recent years, but mentally remained sharp as a member of a legislative chamber he loved in a state he loved.

In the era he grew up, it would have been easy for Young, age 77, an African American, to not love Mississippi. But Young did and worked to make it better.