Claudia Bivins set out to make her mark and vote on Tuesday in Mississippi but she got folks attention more from what she wore than who she voted for.
Bivins, a black woman, draped herself in a confederate flag, decorated with a red noose around her neck to prove a point to her grandson about the history and perils that African Americans have faced when going to the polls, CNN reports.
It was an unconventional lesson for sure that boggled many people at a polling station in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. All except, Phil Carlos Wilson who knew the woman behind the shocking attire.
“Claudia is very outspoken, a very conscious woman … If there’s something that’s got to be said — that needs to be said — and if she’s around, she’s one of those people who will say it,” he said.
The pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, said he’s known the opinionated grandmother for the last 10 years. He latest stunt matches her brand of political activism in the city.
“I immediately knew what was going on, but I always like to hear her story so I asked what the deal was today.”
Bivins brought her seven-year-old son grandson to the polls for a firsthand history lesson filled with stories about the difficulties her ancestors faced in their journey to vote.
The noose, she said represented the past lynching of her ancestors. The flag was to represent the heavy burden of racism that still exists on her shoulders today, she said.
“It still weighs me down,” Bivins said. “The flag represents racism, slavery and affliction.”
Bivins’ also took her grandson to the grave of Vernon Dahmer, a slain civil rights who died when the Ku Klux Klan killed him for organizing voter registration for African Americans.
Bivins took the Confederate flag and laid it on Dahmer’s grave along with an olive brand and peppermints.
“As I laid the rebel flag down across Vernon’s grave, I told my grandson what it represents — our hope that racism and hatred would die,” Bivins said. “That it would be killed at the root of our hearts, minds and souls.”