*A Black woman has become the face of Missouri’s tourism campaign, nearly four years after the NAACP warned travelers that their civil rights may not be respected if they visit the state.
The Missouri Division of Tourism kicked off the campaign Monday, describing the woman the agency dubbed Mo (after Missouri’s abbreviation) as “a character and tour guide of sorts,” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She’s featured in a promotional video hiking, watching a baseball game and riding a roller coaster. Pictures also show her posing as a Foodie Mo, Barbecue Mo, Lake Mo, History Mo and more.
“Mo embodies Missouri and everything we have to offer visitors in our state,” Stephen Foutes, director of the Division of Tourism, said in the release.
But Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel said the group’s travel advisory will remain in effect until Missouri makes “meaningful progress in the systemic abuses affecting people of color.” In 2017, the state group warned visitors to be careful there because of what it described as a danger that their civil rights wouldn’t be respected. The national NAACP took up the warning a couple of months later.
“I don’t quite understand where they’re going with the campaign, and why put a Black face on it,” Chapel said.