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Sidney L. Rushing

Sidney Lanier Rushing was born August 20, 1930, in Carthage, Mississippi. After graduating from Jordan High School in 1948, Rushing earned a B.S. degree in political science from Mississippi Valley State University and an M.Ed. degree from Southern University. Rushing taught social studies in the Gulfport, Mississippi, city schools from 1958 to 1971.

In 1972, Rushing worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1974, he was invited by a friend to apply for a management training position with Gulfport's Hancock Bank. Rushing was hired, and despite the discrimination he experienced, he rose from loan officer to vice president. As a bank official, Rushing opened up banking opportunities for other African Americans. Moreover, he used his knowledge of the community to inform his business decisions and the community supported him.

Civic-minded and service-oriented, Rushing serves on the boards of the Mississippi Resource Development Corporation, the PTA, St. Marks United Methodist Church, the Gulfport Planning Commission and is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was appointed to the Mississippi Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and is president of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Rushing and other Gulfport activists recently formed the John C. Robinson Brown Condor Association to honor Robinson, a Gulfport native and aviation pioneer.

Rushing passed away on November 18, 2019.

Accession Number

A2002.203

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/12/2002

Last Name

Rushing

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Organizations
Schools

Leake Country Agricultural High School

Jackson State University

Mississippi Valley State University

First Name

Sidney

Birth City, State, Country

Carthage

HM ID

RUS03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Always Do The Best You Can And That Is All That Will Ever Be Required Of You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/20/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Gulfport

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Catfish

Death Date

11/18/2019

Short Description

City government administrator Sidney L. Rushing (1930 - 2019) has lived a life in service to the community of Gulfport, Mississippi, and is now the President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning of Mississippi.

Employment

Gulfport Public Schools

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Hancock Bank

Favorite Color

Black

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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70725">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sidney Rushing's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70726">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sidney Rushing lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70727">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sidney Rushing talks about his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70728">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sidney Rushing describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70729">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sidney Rushing describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70730">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sidney Rushing talks about his father's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70731">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sidney Rushing describes his mother's occupations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70732">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sidney Rushing describes his mother's career as a teacher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70733">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sidney Rushing describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70734">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sidney Rushing describes his experience attending Leake County Agricultural High School in Walnut Grove, Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70735">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sidney Rushing describes the makeshift buses that he rode to high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70736">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sidney Rushing describes a teacher who affected him</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70737">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sidney Rushing talks about the importance of Jeanes supervisors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70738">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sidney Rushing talks about gathering to listen to Joe Louis fights on the radio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70739">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sidney Rushing describes the curriculum at Leake County Agricultural High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70740">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sidney Rushing describes the size of Leake County Agricultural High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70741">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sidney Rushing describes his graduation from Leake County Agricultural High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70742">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sidney Rushing describes his experience at Jackson State University in Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70743">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sidney Rushing talks about his experience as a physical education major at Jackson State University in Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70744">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sidney Rushing describes his enlistment in the United States Air Force during the Korean War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70745">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sidney Rushing describes being stationed with the United States Air Force during the Korean War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70746">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sidney Rushing describes his expertise in maps at the Eastern Air Defense Base in New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70747">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sidney Rushing describes his experience in the United States Air Force during the Korean War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70748">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sidney Rushing describes attending Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70749">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sidney Rushing describes becoming a teacher at 33rd Avenue High School in Gulfport, Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70750">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sidney Rushing talks about the poll tax in Gulfport, Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70751">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sidney Rushing talks about the cultural differences between upstate Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70752">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sidney Rushing talks about Mississippi teachers not being allowed to join Civil Rights organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70753">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sidney Rushing describes meeting Medgar Evers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70754">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sidney Rushing talks about his decision to become a teacher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70755">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sidney Rushing describes his experience as a teacher in Gulfport, Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70756">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sidney Rushing describes being hired to work at Hancock Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70757">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sidney Rushing describes his experience working at Hancock Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70758">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sidney Rushing talks about his success as the only black loan officer at Hancock Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70759">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sidney Rushing describes the civic organizations where he is a member</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70760">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sidney Rushing recounts the career of John C. Robinson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70761">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sidney Rushing recounts the career of John C. Robinson, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70762">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sidney Rushing talks about his plans to build a monument for John C. Robinson in Gulfport, Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70763">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sidney Rushing describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70764">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sidney Rushing reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70765">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sidney Rushing talks about how he'd like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/70766">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sidney Rushing narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$5

DATitle
Sidney Rushing describes meeting Medgar Evers
Sidney Rushing talks about his success as the only black loan officer at Hancock Bank
Transcript
I think you, you mentioned off camera something called the State Sovereignty Commission. Now what, what was that about, and how did they--did they play a role in backing people up from being involved in Civil Rights?$$Oh yes. Now, the State Sovereignty Commission was a watchdog commission, and it, it, it, it watched people that were involved in, in civil rights act--activities, and these people were, were, were targeted. For example, Medgar Evers, the, the--whom I've known all my life, just about all my life, if, if, if you were associated with him in any kind of way, you would likely--you would most likely be, be targeted--Dr. [Felix H.] Dunn, who has a, a very huge file in, in, in the Sovereignty Ca, Ca--Commission, and there are many other people that I can name. And I even got a small file in the Sovereignty Commission, and I, I guess I may have gotten it in there because I knew Medgar Evers. And every time when he was Gulfport [Mississippi], I'd always make it my business to try to talk to him.$$Okay, now what kind of a person was Medgar Evers?$$Oh, he was just a wonderful person. I remember, I remember him from the days at, at, at Jackson State [University in Mississippi]. It was Jackson College then for Colored Teachers then. He, he would always come on the campus out there, and, and he, he would be telling us stories about segregation. Yeah, he'd be talking about it his experiences in the Army, and, and, and, and he would talk about, he would talk about, you know, the inhumanity of, of the white race against the black race. And sometimes it was, it was, it, it, it created quite an awareness of what are those things that are going along. You can see these things. Unless there's somebody to create awareness, you just go access--accept them as a matter of fact. And he was--but he, but he was the kind of person that would do that. But he'd come on the campus, and when he would come on the campus, oh, my, the boys would just crowd around him. Now this is his--he's gonna tell these, the, these, these, these (unclear) stories, and listened to things that he had to say. But then, then the president put out word, "Now any, any, any, any you boys seen, seen around Medgar Evers out there, you gonna be sent home."$$Really, that's, that's pretty strong.$$Yeah, and so, so, so, so pretty soon, you, you're gonna suffer the consequences. It's gonna be some consequences for, for, for, for, for this. And, and of course, the, the, the crowd around Medgar Evers seemed to diminish a little bit because of this warning that was put out. Now, now, now we don't know whether he put out the warning himself. He didn't say it himself.$$Right.$$But somebody else said it. And so we assumed that it came from--the assumption was that it came from him.$$All right, okay, so the president didn't actually sign his name to any kind of thing, just--(simultaneous)--$$No, no, but the word was just out there. We just--$$Where it kind of leaked out.$$Un-huh, that we don't want you around--you gonna be in trouble if you hang around--$$Did they--did they try to ban him from campus at all?$$Oh yes, and he--$$Did they actually tell him that he couldn't--he's not welcome or--$$I, I believe they did, but I'm not quite so sure. I'm not quite so sure, but I, I know he was not a reputable person on the campus there. He, I mean he certainly wasn't a reputable person. He was persona non grata (laughter).$So were you able to--now, here you are, you're a black loan officer at Hancock Bank, and there hasn't been any other black loan officers around here. Lots of black people have--need loans and want loans. And they look at you and you're the only in there. I mean what was--I mean did--I mean were you able to improve the condition of the community by, by being a loan officer at the Hancock Bank, do you think?$$Yeah, what I mean--well, let me go back and say this. My, my, my loan portfolio was not a totally black portfolio. I was able to serve any customer that came in, in, in the bank. It may have been the, the level of respect that they had for me. I hope that's what it (laughter) was, was. And, and then my, my, my portfol--portfolio was--crossed all class lines and all economic lines. I was able to serve all, all, all, all kinds of people. But, but, but basically, I, I think my--it was the majority wa--was with black people came to see, came to see me, they wait, wait in lines for--and I'd feel sorry for 'em a lot of times, and, and in lines for half a day just, just to see me. And, and, and I was able to help people I know that otherwise would not have been able to, to, to, to be helped. And they knew, but they were getting--they felt, too, that they were getting this help because, because of my presence in the bank. And, and I, I did have a very loyal customer base. And they did not want me to fail, the black community for the most part, so they made certain. They paid me when they might have, might have neg-neg-neglected somebody else. But, but they wondered--everybody wondered about the secret of my success, "Why people pay you back. You--what do you have, any special magic or something (laughter)?" No, I think it's because of the mutual respect that we had for each other.$$And that's something I think people in the community need to--that's the kind of story we need to hear more of. I think we get--oftentimes the black communities are maligned for not sticking together or not wanting to help one another become successful. And with the story you just told, it's kind of the opposite of what we, we, we hear so much of, you know, but it's a good, it's a good story, you know, the--$$Well, they made, they made me feel that way, and I, you know, I would tell 'em, I said, "Don't embarrass me (laughter)." And, and I, you know, I want you to become a good customer of the bank. So we had the--and, and, and a lot of these things you can overcome with communication and with, with, with, with really earnest communications. Communicate from the heart.