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Actress Aunjanue Ellis wants Mississippi to 'take it down.' It's time they did.

For once, red-carpet questions about a woman's outfit make sense.

Actress Aunjanue Ellis wants Mississippi to 'take it down.' It's time they did.

Ahead of the NAACP Image Awards, "Quantico" actress Aunjanue Ellis approached her show's costume designer with an unusual request.

Ellis wanted to find a way to send a message to the state of Mississippi, where she was born and raised. So she turned to "Quantico" costume designer Sami Rattner for help.

The result? A beautiful white dress with the words "Take it down Mississippi" written across the front, accompanied by a red handprint.


Ellis at the 47th NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.

Take what down? Her message references Mississippi's state flag, which includes blatant Confederate imagery.

In June, Ellis penned an opinion piece for Time, saying she would no longer act in the state until it takes the flag down. And she asked other Mississippi-affiliated actors, authors, and artists to do the same.

She's not boycotting because she hates the state, but rather what the state's flag represents. She's asking that people take a long look at whether that imagery (and all that comes with it) is worth keeping.

"Mississippi is my home," she wrote. "Everything I love the most in this world was born here, or I discovered here. ... The sum total of this state is not that flag."

The Mississippi state flag. Photo by Bill Colgin/Getty Images.

Back in 2001, the people of Mississippi voted on whether to replace the Confederate symbol.

The new flag would have replaced the Confederate battle symbol with 20 stars on a field of blue, representing Mississippi being the 20th state. Sadly, the referendum to change the flag failed by a wide margin, leaving Mississippi as the only state still including the Confederate battle symbol on its state flag.


Photo by Getty Images.

Will the state ditch the flag? Hopefully. Until then, we can all expect Aunjanue Ellis to continue speaking out.

Ellis at "The Birth of a Nation" premiere during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival.

When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started sitting during the national anthem—and then kneeling at the suggestion of a veteran—in 2016, he pushed the conversation about racial justice and police brutality into the U.S. mainstream. Some loved him for it, some hated him for it, but there's no question that he got everyone talking about it.

However, widespread support for his message didn't come until this year. As racial justice protests exploded across the country and spread throughout the world this spring, a distinct societal shift occurred. And as sports have started making a pandemic comeback, more and more athletes have loudly raised their voices for racial justice. Where we had seen a handful of individual athletes kneel during the anthem, we now see entire teams in various professional sports making powerful statements supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The NFL itself has come out and publicly admitted they were wrong to try to get players to stop kneeling during the anthem.

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Let's encourage confident smiles this back-to-school season. Check out the McClure Twins back-to-school pep talk above!

via Twins Trust / Twitter

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