Monica Banks1958 - 2016
We all knew Monica Banks as our first African American and female countywide elected official and Chancery Clerk, who served in that position for over 20 years. She was born in Oktibbeha County, but lived part of her childhood in Indiana and Illinois and returned to Oktibbeha County with her mother and sisters during her high school years. She was elected because she was widely known through her membership in a wide variety of organizations and deeply respected for her outstanding leadership skills and work ethic. Her contribution to civil rights and unity was obvious because of her concern for others, especially the less fortunate. Monica’s daughter said it best when she said that her mother’s “life mission was to be a voice for those who had no voice. She “sought justice for those who were treated unjustly” and she spoke up and out to bring change.” She “paved the way for African Americans to walk out, stand firm, and achieve the impossible.” Finally, she was a member of the first Unity Park Committee, and was present to see the unveiling of those that the committee chose to honor on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 2015.