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Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.

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Information about Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.

Profile image of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Activist
Family Practitioner

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Okra, Collard Greens, Pork Chops, Pineapple Cream Pie
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Nassau, Hawaii, Silver Springs, Maryland
Favorite Quote:
If It Is Done When It Is Done, It Will Be Well If It Is Done Quickly.

Birthplace

Born:
10/7/1928
Birth Location:
Jackson, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Activist
Family Practitioner

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Okra, Collard Greens, Pork Chops, Pineapple Cream Pie
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Nassau, Hawaii, Silver Springs, Maryland
Favorite Quote:
If It Is Done When It Is Done, It Will Be Well If It Is Done Quickly.

Birthplace

Born:
10/7/1928
Birth Location:
Jackson
See how Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Gilbert R. Mason, Sr., “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. degree from Tennessee State University in 1949. He earned an M.D. degree from Howard University Medical School in 1954 and served a year as an intern at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

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 president of the Mississippi NAACP for thirty-three years.

The recipient of numerous awards as a physician, Mason was recognized with a special commendation by joint resolution of the Mississippi State Legislature on March 1, 2002 for his contributions to the Biloxi Regional Medical Center. He resided in Biloxi where he was known as “the civil rights doctor” until his death on July 8, 2006.

On Sunday, July 30, 2006, the mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi proclaimed it to be Dr. Gilbert Mason Day in Biloxi.

Selected Bibliography

Beaches, Blood and Ballots: A Black Doctor’s Civil Rights Struggles. (1998) By Dr. Gilbert Mason and James Patterson Smith.

See how Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his paternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his maternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his paternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the research he is doing on his paternal great-grandfather, who was allegedly a slave of George Mason
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his paternal great-great grandfather's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his maternal great-great grandfather, Confederate Army Brigadier General William Wirt Adams
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his maternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why his parents settled in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his childhood interests and activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his paternal great-grandmother, Suzanna Mason
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares memories from his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what a slaughter bin is
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes stargazing as a child in Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about being a Boy Scout and becoming an Eagle Scout
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what happened to his Eagle Scout friend, Joe
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his experiences in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why he attended Jim Hill High School rather than Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the history of schools in Jackson, Mississippi, and black Mississippi government officials
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about transferring to Lanier High School and skipping eleventh grade
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares meaningful moments from high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes two of his high school football coaches' connections with black activists
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his high school class- and teammate, HistoryMaker Lerone Bennett, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the use of second-hand materials in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why he enrolled at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how he made extra money as a student at Tennessee State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his experiences attending Howard University College of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his experiences with racism as an intern at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the racism he faced working as a doctor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why he continued to practice medicine in Biloxi, Mississippi rather than move to Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his involvement in the fight to desegregate schools in Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his work on desegregating Mississippi's beaches
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about forming the Gulf Coast Civic Action Committee and the first wade-in on the Gulf Coast Beach
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about organizing and participating in the "Bloody Sunday" wade-in on the Gulf Coast Beach
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about being reprimanded by the Gulf Coast Medical Society for his Civil Rights activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about raising money for the Gulf Port branch of the NAACP
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about Medgar Evers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about Gulf Coast Beach in Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the ruling that effectively desegregated Gulf Coast Beach in 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about being a consultant for the film "Ghost of Mississippi"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what happened to the money intended for his bail after the Gulf Coast Beach wade-ins of 1963
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how the Biloxi Branch of the NAACP integrated Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the racism he faced trying to attend the 1960 Boy Scouts of America Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how his Boy Scout troop was discriminated against in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about pressuring the City of Biloxi to put blacks on the police force, in the sheriff's department, and in city hall
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the issues the Mississippi NAACP faced
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about forming the Council of Federated Organizations in 1963
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about attending the Democratic National Conventions as Parliamentarian of the Freedom Democratic Party
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about working with President Richard Nixon and President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what he learned from serving on an ad-hoc committee to bring the National Football League to Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares memories from the various committees he has served on
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes a racist incident at Howard Memorial Hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the Academy of Family Practice, the American Board of Family Physicians, and the Mississippi State Licensure Board
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his reasons for filing a school desegregation lawsuit against the City of Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about retirement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. narrates his photographs