There's lots of stereotypes about Mississippi, about how backward the state is, and how racist its residents are, etc, etc. In an effort to combat that, some new ads have been printed up. The campaign was designed by The Cirlot Agency, a well known advertising agency.
It all started when a Mississippi businessman sat next to a 12 year old boy from Connecticut on an airplane. During the flight, they began talking, and at one point the boy asked the MS man if he still saw the KKK on every street corner, and if he hated all black people. This conversation left the businessman rather stunned, and so he began trying to come up with a way to change the state's image.
Mississippi Believe It! is the result. The ads are rather well designed and you can access them here. I was going to print them on the blog, but they are all PDF files and haven't figured out how to do that yet. (If anyone more computer savvy than I knows how, I'd appreciate the advice.)
It's all well and good, but frankly, Mississippi has a few more important things to change before the state's image will improve. Mississippi ranks 50th in public education (pdf file), 51st in average income, and 1st in obesity. Until these things change Mississippi will continue to have the reputation of being a state full of overweight, poverty stricken, dumb country hicks.