May 7, 2004
City of Vicksburg & Mississippi Arts Commission
BEGINNINGS, LASTING LEGACIES:
the earliest settlers to Vicksburg, African Americans have made
significant contributions to social, educational, religious, economic
and political progress.
was home to Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American U. S.
Senator, the first President of Alcorn State University and the pastor
of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church: the first AME church in
Mississippi (1864), the home of the first African American Masonic
Lodge in the state (1875) and Campbell College (1890), the first
college in Mississippi to be established by blacks.
important leaders made great strides in education including Rosa A.
Temple, J. G. H. Bowman, William Demby and Dr. Jane McAllister, the
fist black woman to receive a PhD in education in the United States.
African Americans provided spiritual guidance: Rev R. T Middleton, Dr.
John J. Morant, and Rev. Kelly Rucks. Leading the field of
dentistry at the turn of the century was Dr. D. D. Foote, while his contemporary,
W. E. Mollison, helped organize Lincoln Savings Bank and practice law.
first black embalmer in Mississippi was William Henry Jefferson, who,
along with his wife Lucy, were actively involved in community affairs
including membership in a number of fraternal and social
and many additional African American community leaders helped to
improve to quality of life for the residents of Vicksburg and have
left a lasting legacy.
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