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Gilbert Mason 1928-2006

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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 06:32 PM
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Gilbert Mason 1928-2006
Gilbert R. Mason, "wade-in" activist and physician, was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on October 7, 1928. When he graduated from Jackson's Lanier High School in 1945, Mason dreamed of becoming a doctor. He earned a B.S. from Tennessee State University in 1949. He earned an M.D. from Howard University Medical School in 1954 and served a year as an intern at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis.

Mason started a family practice in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1955. In May 1959, he led a nonviolent protest against the "whites only" section of a federally funded Gulf Coast beach. Mason's group was arrested. Subsequent "wade-ins" ignited some of the bloodiest white rioting in Mississippi history. These resulted in a successful antidiscrimination lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, the first such case filed in U.S. history. At the same time, Mason filed the first school desegregation lawsuit in the history of Biloxi, which he also won. Mason collaborated with other Mississippi NAACP activists, including Winston Hudson, Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry and Medgar Evers. He helped the NAACP join with CORE, SNCC and SCLC to form the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). Mason played a role in COFO's massive black voter registration drive, the Freedom Summer of 1964. Mason served as vice president of the Mississippi NAACP for thirty-three years.

Those were mighty times.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 12:43 PM
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1. Thank you Dr. Mason - sweet peace & much deserved rest.
Edited on Thu Jul-13-06 12:43 PM by merh
It's so hard to explain how his life, and now his death, have touched me.

I've walked in the shadows of his shadow, listened to him as he told of his dreams, his struggles, his glories and his courage and I remain in awe, knowing that I could live 100 years and never do for mankind what he has done. My respect for him knows no end, my gratitude can never be adequately expressed.

But now, I see the atrocities of those days repeating themselves, hidden behind the mistaken belief that we have left racism behind, and I wonder, where is today's Gilbert Mason, Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers.

Thank you Dr. Mason, rest now.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 02:32 AM
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2. I didn't know of Dr. Mason in life, but even from your brief report
I can tell he was a hero. Anyone who was in the struggle in Mississippi "walked the walk" (or, in his case, waded the wade, I suppose)in a way that most of us can only dream of.

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