So happy to be home again in Mississippi

Published 4:52 pm Friday, January 15, 2021

“To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.”

The quote, attributed to the literary icon William Faulkner, hangs often in the middle of conversations about our state: its history, its future and even its current affairs.

“You have to understand Mississippi …” I say, as if that provides the necessary context for stories about riverboat gamblers at Natchez Under-the-Hill; Indian warriors defeated in battle who march singing in river as it empties into the Mississippi Sound; or the appeal of a culture so diverse it births the blues, global business moguls, political icons and more than its fair share of Pulitzer Prize winning authors, despite poverty, poor access to education and health care, and a history of strife.

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Mississippi gets in your soul, just like the ink in a journalist’s veins.

Thankfully, I have both.

I grew up in Gautier, when the stories seep deep as the sand in the murky brown waters of the Sound. I spent my college years in Oxford, where sadly I never read much Faulkner but embraced all the traditions and the history. From there, Natchez called and I learned everyone has a story – and a history – to share.

I’ve spent the last two decades in Troy, Alabama, as publisher of The Messenger, TroyLife magazine and its affiliated digital publications. And while I learned to appreciate Alabama, I’ve never lost my heart for Mississippi.

So, when I had the opportunity to come back to Southwest Mississippi and work with The Daily Leader and The Prentiss Headlight as general manager and with Boone Newspapers as the Mississippi Regional Editor, I was thrilled. In the first week, I’ve enjoyed a picnic lunch filled with history and political insight; conversations with local retailers who are thriving despite the challenges of 2020 thanks to the support of a vibrant and engaged community; and met a staff of hard-working, passionate folks committed to serving their customers, their readers and their community.

For more than 135 years, The Daily Leader has written the history of Brookhaven and Lincoln County and been the trusted resource for news and information. But as our community evolves, so have we. A robust digital platform, through and our social media feeds, along with niche publications such as Brookhaven Magazine allow us to share information whenever you want it and where ever you happen to be. More important, we provide a wide array of digital marketing tools and services, along with our legacy advertising options, to help our businesses be more successful and reach customers.

In coming weeks, I look forward to meeting more of you and hearing your stories, to learning what makes your businesses successful and how we can help you face your challenges; and to making Brookhaven my new home.

“You have to understand Mississippi,” I said when telling Alabama friends I was moving. “It’s just … home.”

And I am so happy to be home again.

Stacy Graning is General Manager of The Daily Leader. Email her at