Meridian Star

July 30, 2012

Gov. Bryant to attend dedication of Highway Patrol building

District office in Meridian to be named after Charles Young Sr.

By Marie John / The Meridian Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The legacy of The Honorable Charles Lemuel Young Sr. will continue Tuesday morning as the dedication of t˙´ Charles Young Sr. Highway Patrol Building, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Troop H location on Highway 11/80, will take place.

    The dedication ceremony, scheduled to be attended by Gov. Phil Bryant and other state and local dignitaries, will begin at 10 a.m. at the location that is situated on a hill overlooking Highway 11/80. Many of Young's family, including his son, Charles L. Young Jr., who like his father is forging his name as a state representative in District 82, are looking forward to the event.

    "We are elated and excited as a family that the Legislature would bestow on my father and our family this honor," said Young. "It is a great source of pride for us."

    Young was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1979, taking office in January 1980, representing the 82nd District, which encompasses parts of Meridian and Lauderdale County.

    Among his many accomplishments and services to the people of Mississippi, Young led as chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, which was formed in 1980 to provide a forum for African-American legislators to discuss issues of interest to minority citizens. As the influential chairman of the Universities and Colleges Committee, Young played a major role in enhancing the state’s system of higher education particularly for the historically black colleges and universities as the Ayers discrimination suit was settled.

    Prior to his service in the Legislature, Young, as a civil rights activist, was involved in fighting for voter registration. He was an avid and ardent supporter of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He negotiated with local police to minimize injuries to Freedom Riders who came to Meridian in the early 1960’s. As an NAACP member, he picketed local stores and national franchises including Woolworth regarding employment discrimination practices and the integration of lunch counters.

    In the business sector in 1969, Young rose to the position of president of the E.F. Young, Jr. Manufacturing Co. Under his leadership, the company would prosper and become the oldest family-owned manufacturer of ethnic hair care products in the United States. He was honored as Mississippi’s Minority Business Person of the Year and received the Hartley D. Peavey Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

    Young Jr. said this is the first highway patrol district office to be named after a minority and for a member of the House of Representatives.