Marco Watson McMillian was on track to make history in Mississippi. An ambitious, young, openly gay black politician, McMillian was running for mayor of Clarksdale, his hometown. It’s a city perhaps best known for the blues, the place where musician Robert Johnson said he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a guitar. Its roughly 20,000 mostly black residents may live in a place well versed in the music of heartbreak, but McMillian’s death has put a new tragedy in the national spotlight.
McMillian was a proud son of Clarksdale. At 34 years old, he was already accomplished. The Mississippi Business Journal listed him as one of its “Top 40 Leaders Under 40,” and in 2004 EBONY listed him as one of the nation’s best young leaders. He graduated magna cum laude from the WEB DuBois Honors College at Jackson State University. He was active in his church and served as the International Executive Director for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. And he had big plans for Clarksdale.
Here are his political platforms on crime, education, and the economy.