By Bro. Kareem Muhammad
Jackson Advocate Guest Writer
The Mississippi Delta’s leading set of twins — Errick and Derrick Simmons — are often referred to as “double trouble!” Although Errick stands at a mere five foot seven and Derrick stands an inch taller at five foot eight, these giants of the Delta stand tall when they are among their peers and those with whom they grew up.
Errick is the eldest of the twins. He currently holds the seat of mayor in the city of Greenville, Mississippi. Derrick currently serves as a Mississippi state senator.
Born to two wonderful parents – J.C. Simons and Alzena Bruce Simmons – on December 12, 1976, these identical twins grew up in Greenville, graduated together from Howard University’s law school, and then formed a successful law firm named Simmons & Simmons, PLLC.
Mother Alzena, as a proud Black woman in the midst of discrimination, was determined to educate her children about their history. “Growing up, our mother, Alzena Bruce Simmons, friend and confidant, gave us a strong Christian teaching. She taught us the value of standing on truth,” said Errick.
The senior Simmons, a father of three, worked to ensure that his children would not have to go through the debilitating life that he and so many of his family had suffered.
“Having a strong male influence has played an important role in the decisions we have made in our lives,” Errick said. Three individuals who immediately came to mind were his older brother Zachary and grandfathers Jessie Bruce Jr. and J.C. Simmons Jr. “Our brother was one of the first in our extended family to attend college; we were motivated and inspired to do the same, so we followed him to Jackson State University. While we were pursuing a bachelor’s degree, Zachary was pursuing his master’s degree.”
Errick and Derrick realized at a young age that family was very important and found that being twins had its advantages. “We always did things together and that kept us out of trouble,” said Derrick.
Discussing his father, Derrick described their relationship, saying: “We loved our father. He was our number one fan. He was very proud of his sons, and we knew it. It made life much better knowing that our father was proud of us.
The twins’ father lost his battle to cancer in 2015. Derrick said, “His spirit of work ethic still lives in us. To be a public servant is not a job; it’s a calling. Serving people is like the air we breathe. We serve an awesome God, and we consider ourselves a vessel just doing His will serving His people with purpose.”
Both Derrick and Errick are married. Errick is married to Dr. Timeka M. Simmons, and they have three children. Derrick is married to Cuwanda Flowers Simmons, and they have two children.