In complete archive
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Chrysteen Flynt. Effie Chrysteen Flynt was born in November 1910 in D'Lo, MS to John Anselum Warren Sr. and Effie Bowman Warren. Her parents owned the D'Lo Mercantile Company until it burned down. Shortly after, her father worked for the Finkbine Lumber Company, serving as a logging superintendent. Flynt is one of eight children. She attended D'Lo School, beginning at the age of six, and would go on to complete all twelve grades, graduating in 1929. After finishing school, Flynt went to Delta State Teachers College until her family lost money during the Great Depression. To help alleviate her parents' financial burden, Flynt dropped out of Delta State. She later returned to school, attending Southern Teachers College (now the University of Southern Mississippi). Flynt graduated from Southern Teachers College and began teaching at Union School in Simpson County. She married William Vardaman Flynt in Collins, MS, in October 1933. Her and her husband had three children together. Flynt taught at Mendenhall High School from 1953 to 1974- the entirety of her teaching career would come to thirty-six years.
13 April 2003
Oral history.; William R. "Bill" Ford was born on June 18, 1916 in Taylorsville, Mississippi. He graduated high school in 1934 and went on to study at Millsaps College in Jackson. After graduating Ford began teaching Latin, history and government in Bolivar County schools. He then enrolled in law school but received orders to go to Washington at the start of the Second World War. During this time, he served as an intelligence officer for the U.S Navy. Ford moved Kosciusko in 1947 to practice law and remained there until 1988. During his career he was appointed United States magistrate, and served in this capacity for 10 years. Ford also taught in the Speech Department at the University of Mississippi.
20 June 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted George Lewis French was born in June 1919 to Edgar Franklin French and Lila Mae Schull French in Maryville, LA. French was one of five children. French's family moved to Mississippi when he was twelve years old. Shortly after, he started his first job at an icehouse operated by his father. French graduated from Mendenhall High School in 1937. After high school, French attended Clarks Commercial College in Jackson, MS. He returned to work at his father's ice plant. In 1938 French was given the responsibility of running the Star Theatre- the movie theatre owned and operated by French's father. French made frequent trips to New Orleans, LA to learn how to book films for the theater, which showed its first feature on November 9, 1938. George Lewis French married Mary Eleanor Teunisson and had three sons together, the oldest being born before French joined the US Army. He was first stationed in Camp Shelby, MS, and shortly thereafter was transferred to Fort Bragg, NC. At Fort Brag French was trained to be a battery clerk. After basic training, French was assigned to the Twenty-Eight Infantry Division, the Pennsylvania National Guard Division, and was stationed in Louisiana. French completed amphibious training in Carabelle, FL before being transferred to Camp Pickett, Va. French first saw combat while stationed in Sicily during World War II. He eventually got to mainland Italy, France, and Germany, where he took photographs of Dachau the day after liberation. French's service in the war lasted from June 1943 to August 1945. He returned to the States in September of that year. French resumed his position as head of the Star Theatre, eventually selling it in the 1970s. French's wife Mary Eleanor died in April 1997. In December 1999 he began his second marriage to Marjorie Elizabeth Wakeman.
03 May 2003
Oral history.; Born in 1921, in Shuqualak, Mississippi, Albert Gaston and his family moved to Gulfport under the threat of racist violence. Mr. Gaston graduated from Thirty-third Avenue High School as class valedictorian, and went on to Morehouse College, from which he graduated in 1944; he did postgraduate work at Xavier, Atlanta University, and The University of Southern Mississippi. In 1943, Mr. Gaston entered the United States Army to serve in World War II. During his active years, Mr. Gaston was engaged in teaching; he has been an accountant and an entrepreneur. He has held membership in a number of national organizations, including the NAACP, The Urban League, and Pilgrim Bound Church where he is an ordained deacon.
16 June 2003
Oral history.; Interview with James "Ronnie" Ables conducted on June 25, 2003. James "Ronnie" Ables was born in Sallis, Mississippi. Ables' father served as mayor of Sallis. Ables received his Bachelor's degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. He is active in Sallis Baptist Church as deacon, organist and educator, and has done mission work. He has worked as an auditor for the Medicare program, and currently works in fraud investigation for a bank.
25 June 2003
Oral history.; Lee J. Adams was born in 1916, in Gulfport, Mississippi. He graduated from Thirty-third Avenue High School. As a young man, Mr. Adams played semiprofessional baseball with a Negro league, the Gulfport Panthers. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy. Mr. Adams worked as a waiter at Gulf Park College for Women; he was on the initial crews who started building the Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center, and he drove a truck for the Merchant Company for many years before he became the safety officer for the city of Gulfport.
18 April 2003
Oral history.; Born in 1921, in Pass Christian, Mississippi, Bidwell Barnes left school at age fourteen to help support his family. From 1940 to 1942, Mr. Barnes served in the Civilian Conservation Corps; in 1942 he was drafted into the United States Army for deployment in World War II. In 1951 he also served in the Korean war. In 1977, Mr. Bames retired from Keesler Air Force Base where he had worked in the civil service.
04 March 2003
Oral history.; Augusta Bates was born on May 14, 1923, in Columbia, Mississippi and moved to the section of Gulfport known as the Quarters. From 1942 to 1949, she ran a cafe on the Coast. At the inception of Head Start, she began working in the kitchen, feeding many needy children; at the time of this interview, she was still employed by Head Start, having worked there over thirty years.
03 March 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted January 16, 2003 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Alva Beck was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. After graduating high school, Beck attended Rust College and began volunteering for the advancement of civil rights in the area of voter registration. He met many of the major figures in the Civil Rights Movement, Stokely Carmichael among them. Beck was involved in protesting the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, Florida. After graduating from Rust College with a B.S. degree in business administration, Beck went to work as an investment analyst in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; he would later move to Cincinnati, Ohio and continue expanding his business ventures. Beck moved back to Holly Springs to care for his mother.
16 January 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Lola Berry. Lola Wilson Durr Berry was born in 1926 near Mendenhall, MS to Charlie Walker and Roberta Wilson. Berry began sharecropping in cotton fields at the age of seven. Berry left school after fifth grade in order to work. In 1942 Berry married Clarence Durr, with whom she had thirteen children, ten of whom survived. Clarence was killed in a car accident in 1975; a year later she remarried to Oscar Berry. Ms. Berry has worked as a domestic employee in private homes in the Mendenhall area, at the Universal Plant for thirteen years, and as a cook at Genesis One School for twelve years.
14 September 2003
Oral history.; Edward Boggs was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, on December 25, 1938. He attended Thirty-third Avenue Elementary School and High School; he attended one year at Dillard University and then transferred to Mississippi Valley State University where he earned his B.S. degree. From 1963 to 1966, he served in the United States Army. After his military service, Mr. Boggs worked for the United States Postal Service for twenty-nine years where he was a postal clerk in finance, a postal systems examiner and director of finance.
24 April 2003
Oral history.; Reuben V. Anderson was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1942. As a student Anderson excelled academically and athletically, ultimately earning an athletic scholarship to Tougaloo College. At Tougaloo, Anderson met many people who influenced his life and career, including professor Ernst Borinski, and civil rights leader, Ed King. He was involved with the desegregation of the Jackson Public Library. He was the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi Law School. After graduation, he began practicing civil rights law. He was successful at overseeing the integration of the schools in Mississippi. Anderson was drafted during the conflict in Vietnam, but his service to the Legal Defense Fund helped him to earn a draft deferment to stay in the United States and practice law. Mayor Russell C. Davis appointed Anderson to serve as the first African American municipal court judge, and he was later appointed to Hinds County Court (by Gov. Cliff Finch) and 7th Circuit Court (by Gov. William Winter). He eventually came to the Mississippi Supreme Court, where he served from 1985-1990. After retiring from the Court, Anderson returned to private practice and resumed his involvement with the business sector. Judge Anderson is married to Phyllis Wright Anderson, and has three children.
04 March 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted on March 25, 2003 with Judge Fred L. Banks, Jr. (born 1942). In the late 1960s, Judge Banks began his law career by serving for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. He was elected three times to the House of Representatives and served alternately as chair of the House Ethics committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the Legislative Black Caucus. In February 1985, he was appointed judge of the Seventh Circuit Court District (Hinds and Yazoo Counties) and is projected to continue to serve until 2004 when his term is over.
25 March 2003
Oral history.; Hattie Rogers Broadus was born in 1907. She finished eighth grade in Perkinston, Mississippi. As a teenager, Broadus began domestic work for hire. She moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast where she married Maxie M. Broadus in 1932 in Ocean Springs. Variety in her working career is evident; she worked a short while at International Paper Company in Moss Point, Mississippi. From 1928 to 1941 she worked at the Edgewater Hotel as a waitress, hostess and cashier. For a short time she was a governess, and at her retirement she was a nurse's aide caring for shut-ins.
28 April 2003
Oral history.; Bettye Brooks was born in 1938, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Brooks attended Thirty-third Avenue Elementary School and High School. As a junior Brooks attended Tougaloo Preparatory School, an accelerated learning program at Tougaloo College. She began her college training at Tougaloo College, and then transferred to Gilfoy School of Nursing at Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. She graduated from nursing school as an R.N. in September of 1963. In 1998 she retired from nursing.
11 April 2003
Oral history.; Born in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1932, Alfred Brown attended Thirty-third Avenue High School from which he graduated. He was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean Conflict, and he served for one year and nine months. He earned his B.S. degree at Howard University and completed some postgraduate work there. In 1960, Mr. Brown taught at Coleman High School in Greenville, Mississippi; from 1961 to 1965 he was a bell captain at Sun and Sand in Jackson, Mississippi; from 1965 to 1973, he was a Manpower specialist and counselor for Star, Inc., and he has been self-employed since 1969 in his business A and B Construction.
14 March 2003
Oral history.; Myrtle Brown was born in 1925, in Gulfport, Mississippi. She attended Thirty-third Avenue school. She was a very athletic child, playing sandlot baseball with the neighborhood boys. When she was in seventh grade, Ms. Brown was chosen to play on the high school basketball team; she was one of their star players. She left school in tenth grade to help support her family, first at Gulfport Laundry and later at Ryan Stevedores in the Port of Gulfport. Brown was one of the first women to work as a stevedore handling 100-pound bags of chemicals.
10 March 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Lewis Bynum. Lewis Benjamin Bynum was born on Everett Reed Break, near the Kennedy Springs Community in 1911. One of eight children, Bynum's family moved to East Texas during World War I and returned to the Magee, MS area in the early 1920s. Bynum began working on a farm at the age of nine, hoeing and plowing the fields. He married Minnie Velma Saxon in December 1930. During the Great Depression Bynum worked at a sawmill where he performed a multitude of tasks, such as operating a gin and truck driving. In 1933, Bynum worked for the Public Works Administration, laying the foundation for Highway 49 from Collins to Magee. Lewis and Minnie Bynum had two children together, Buddy and Kathleen. After sharecropping through the mid-1930s, Bynum bought 120 acres of land through a federal program. During World War II, Bynum worked for the Soil Conservation Service. After the war, Bynum served as a foreman for Standard Mills in Jackson, MS. Lewis Bynum bounced around the country working various jobs and finally returned to Mississippi in the 1960s. Bynum received the title of Master Mason from the Grand Lodge Masons in Jackson in 1951. In November 2000 Bynum and his wife received a letter from President Bill Clinton congratulating them on their seventieth wedding anniversary.
26 July 2003