Read e-book online Beaches, Blood, and Ballots: A Black Doctor's Civil Rights PDF


By Gilbert R. Mason

This ebook, the 1st to target the combination of the Gulf Coast, is Dr. Gilbert R. Mason's eyewitness account of harrowing episodes that happened there throughout the civil rights flow. Newly opened via courtroom order, files from the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission's mystery documents improve this riveting memoir written by means 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 so much infamous bastions of segregation.

In Mississippi, the civil rights fight started in may well 1959 with "wade-ins." In open and awake defiance of segregation legislation, Mason led 9 black Biloxians onto a constrained spot alongside the twenty-six-mile seashore. A 12 months later extra wade-ins on shorelines reserved for whites trigger the bloodiest race rebel within the state's heritage and led the U.S. Justice division to begin the first-ever federal court docket problem of Mississippi's segregationist legislation and practices. at the same time, Mason and native activists all started their paintings at the state's first university desegregation swimsuit. because the coordinator of the tactic, he confronted threats to his existence.

Mason's memoir supplies readers a documented trip in the course of the day-by-day humiliations that segregation and racism imposed upon the black population -- upon fathers, moms, kids, workers, and pros. Born in 1928 within the slums of Jackson, Mason recognizes the effect of his powerful 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 remembers the nice migration of blacks to the North, of family who remained in Mississippi, of kinfolk ties in Chicago and different northern towns. Following commencement from Tennessee kingdom and Howard college scientific collage, he organize his perform within the black component to Biloxi in 1955 and skilled the constraints that even a black surgeon suffered within the segregated South. 4 years later, he all started his conflict to dismantle the Jim Crow method. this is often the tale of his fight and hard-won victory.

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Alphas pledged to "Ask not what the fraternity can do for you, but what you can do for the fraternity" long before John Kennedy turned his version of the phrase. And the Alpha fraternal ideal stressed that lasting benefits accrue to oneself and Preparation for Service 25 one's family in direct proportion to the service one performed for community and fraternity. I had been infused with the service ideals of the Boy Scouts of America, so this just resonated with me. I jumped from the Scouts into Alpha Phi Alpha.

The candidates for baptism assembled in white robes made from sheets and waded out into the water. I was a good swimmer and had no fear, even though Reverend Simmons believed in immersing you three times in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Joining the church and joining the Scouts were two great events that just dovetailed for me. I took the Boy Scout oath seriously: "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to ... " And from church I knew that if I was going to be godlike, it also meant helping other people at all times.

When I took Daddy to the train station for his return trip home, an older black man heard that Daddy was headed back to Mississippi. " Daddy's reply was simple. " A year later in 1955 as I completed my internship, my idealism also drew me back home to Mississippi. In the atmosphere that was Howard University in the 1950$, I had gotten a solid medical education, but I also got an education in humanity. Washington had surrounded me with the history and idealism of freedom.

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