By Gilbert R. Mason
This e-book, the 1st to target the mixing of the Gulf Coast, is Dr. Gilbert R. Mason's eyewitness account of harrowing episodes that happened there throughout the civil rights stream. Newly opened by way of court docket order, records from the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission's mystery documents increase this riveting memoir written by way of an important civil rights determine in Mississippi. He joined his pals and allies Aaron Henry and the martyred Medgar Evers to wrestle injustices in a single of the nation's such a lot infamous bastions of segregation.
In Mississippi, the civil rights fight begun in may well 1959 with "wade-ins." In open and awake defiance of segregation legislation, Mason led 9 black Biloxians onto a limited spot alongside the twenty-six-mile seashore. A yr later extra wade-ins on shores reserved for whites trigger the bloodiest race rebellion within the state's background and led the U.S. Justice division to begin the first-ever federal court docket problem of Mississippi's segregationist legislation and practices. concurrently, Mason and native activists started their paintings at the state's first college desegregation go well with. because the coordinator of the method, he confronted threats to his lifestyles.
Mason's memoir provides readers a documented trip during the day-by-day humiliations that segregation and racism imposed upon the black population -- upon fathers, moms, kids, workers, and execs. Born in 1928 within the slums of Jackson, Mason recognizes the influence of his robust nuclear family and of the supportive procedure of associations within the black local. They nurtured him to manhood and helped satisfy his dream of changing into a doctor.
His tale recollects the good migration of blacks to the North, of relations who remained in Mississippi, of kinfolk ties in Chicago and different northern towns. Following commencement from Tennessee kingdom and Howard college scientific university, he manage his perform within the black element of Biloxi in 1955 and skilled the limitations that even a black general practitioner suffered within the segregated South. 4 years later, he begun his conflict to dismantle the Jim Crow approach. this is often the tale of his fight and hard-won victory.
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Extra resources for Beaches, Blood, and Ballots: A Black Doctor's Civil Rights Struggle
For the first few meetings of the SPECs, Professor Ellis presided until we elected Walter Washington, later to be president of Alcorn University, as 14 Beginnings our dub president. Now, I had a bad habit of sometimes undiplomatically interrupting people in meetings if I wanted to know something. One night I undiplomatically interrupted Professor Ellis. He shot back, "Mr. " I asked. " The next day I bought myself a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, and I studied it. From that point in high school on, you would not find Robert's Rules of Order too far from me, nor would you find my Bible too far from me, and that still holds.
C. Farmer's Market or to hear Papoo's vivid descriptions of Marcus Garvey and what he said at Lafayette Square in front of the White House was fascinating. The life and message of Marcus Garvey about pride in who you are and about the absolute necessity for black entrepreneurship and black economic empowerment came alive for me. The lives of great men have always inspired me—Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, and W. E. B. Du Bois. I was so fortunate to be in the presence of living history because of Caesar R.
In a sense, riding old Dan was like riding the unpredictable vicissitudes of segregation in Mississippi. Old Dan's effect had been physical. Racism's effect was more subtle. My physical soreness I felt when I got on the train in Jackson. I did not understand the restrictive soreness imposed by segregation until I got off that train and breathed the freer air of Chicago. My older sister, Rozelia, who had been to Chicago many times, accompanied me on the trip. When we rolled into the Twelfth Street station, Rozelia announced that we were going to catch the El, Chicago's elevated public transit system, out to my grandmother's apartment.