Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Bolivar Commercial - Doctor Honored For Outstanding Service To Community, People

Doctor Honored For Outstanding Service To Community, People
 The Bolivar Commercial
Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard was one of the leading figures in civil rights, health care, business and social issue of his time.

On Monday, Mound Bayou honored Howard by celebrating his role in providing and helping to expand access to high quality low cost health care for poor black people in the Mississippi Delta while also acknowledging his vision and leadership in the fight for civil rights with the renaming of a portion of Miss. Highway 161, formerly Miss. Highway 61, in honor of him.

“This is a great day for the city of Mound Bayou and a great day for a great man in Dr. T.R.M. Howard. Dr. Howard was a lot of things for this community and he did a lot to enhance the lives of the people not only in Mound Bayou but everywhere,” said the Rev. Darryl Johnson, during the breakfast reception held at Delta Health Center.

The event was the culmination of a resolution incorporating the request of citizens that a portion of Highway 161 be renamed in honor of Dr. T.R.M. Howard.

The resolution was properly approved by the mayor and board of aldermen of Mound Bayou and submitted to the state legislature.

Subsequently House Bill 598 designating that a segment of Highway 161 be renamed was shepherded through the legislature by District 29 Representative Linda F. Coleman of Mound Bayou.

Several people in attendance shared memories of Howard.

Elaine Baker said she was very happy to have known Howard and talked about him as a man who cared for and believed in people.

“He believed in the youth of Mound Bayou and he believed in the families of Mound Bayou. He was an inspiration to me. I remember when he left for Chicago I would get the Jet Magazine and it was a joy to see him in there because I knew he would be in there talking about some new adventure,” said Baker.

According to Dr. Linda Royster Beito, co-author of the recently published book, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, “This event not only honored a man of intelligence, determination and perseverance but also the town of Mound Bayou and its tradition of self-help, health-care entrepreneurship and civil rights. Dr. Howard believed that Mound Bayou should take the lead in ‘all good movements to raise standards and make conditions better.’”

Howard came to Mound Bayou to serve as chief surgeon of Taborian Hospital which opened its doors Feb. 12, 1942.

Taborian was built by the International Order of Twelve, Knights and Daughters of Tabor, under the leadership of Sir P.M. Smith.

Operating from the organization’s headquarters in Mound Bayou, Sir P.M. Smith was acutely aware of the critical need, of poor black people in the Mississippi Delta for access to healthcare.

When Howard arrived as the first surgeon for the hospital, he immediately went to work not only in providing high quality healthcare but in helping to expand access to such care.

Howard was not intimidated by the difficulties and challenges that confronted him in providing quality healthcare to the multitudes of poor black people in the Mississippi Delta.

When faced with the need for aides, nurses and other healthcare professionals to work with him in providing quality healthcare, Howard undertook the job of providing their training.

He also opened his own private clinic and, in the early 1950s, organized the United Order of Friendship, which built Friendship Clinic and further expanded access to high quality, low cost healthcare, using the model pioneered by Sir P.M. Smith and his fraternal order.

With two hospitals, physicians and other healthcare professionals, Mound Bayou became a center for the provision of low-cost, high quality healthcare to poor black people in the Mississippi Delta.

Not only was Howard’s influence felt in the provision and expansion of low cost, high quality healthcare but in every aspect of life in Mound Bayou.

He owned and operated a large farm; a construction firm which built modern homes in the city and an insurance company in which he employed Medgar Evers, a future state field secretary for the NAACP.

Just four years after arriving in Mound Bayou, Howard built the Good Will Park which included a sand box for children, a miniature zoo, aquarium, botanical gardens, a swimming pool, tennis court and a restaurant.

Parties responsible for the celebration included: Dr. David and Dr. Linda Beito, Mound Bayou Civic Club, Historic Mound Bayou Foundation, American Literacy Association, city of Mound Bayou, Delta Health Center, Kemetic Institute of Mound Bayou, Mound Bayou Movement Inc., John Milton Wesley, Rep. Linda Coleman and Shade Turnipseed. 


MB Residents Prepare To Honor Prominent Doctor
by Candrese Jones
At 1 p.m. Monday, there will be a highway dedication in honor of one of Mound Bayou’s prominent doctors, Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason “T.R.M.” Howard.

The event will be held in the parking lot of the Kemetic Institute in Mound Bayou located at 900 Highway 161 or 205 Edwards Street. The purpose of the event is to celebrate Howard’s historic work, as a doctor and “maverick” in the fight for justice, civil rights and economic empowerment for economically disadvantaged people in Mississippi and across the nation.

“This all came about after the author of a the book about Dr. Howard came through for a book signing,” said Mayor Kennedy Johnson. “A group of people got together and created a petition that was sent to Jackson.”

A portion of Highway 161 will be renamed in honor of Dr. T.R.M. Howard through a resolution that has been properly approved by Mound Bayou’s mayor and board of aldermen. The resolution has been submitted to the state legislature.

House Bill 598 designates that a segment of Highway 161 be renamed through the legislature with the help of District 29 Rep. Linda F. Coleman of Mound Bayou.

“Dr. Howard was a very important person to Mound Bayou and the Delta’s civil rights movement,” said Johnson. “My mother and father both worked under him.”

According to Linda Royster Beito, co-author of Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, “This event will not only honor a man of intelligence, determination and perseverance but also the town of Mound Bayou and its tradition of self-help, health-care, entrepreneurship and civil rights.”

“He was in need of this kind of recognition and honor for the work that he has done,” said Johnson. “He helped a lot of people in his time.”

Howard was an American civil rights leader, fraternal organization leader, entrepreneur and surgeon. He was one of the mentors to activists such as Medgar Evers, Charles Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry and Jessie Jackson.

He founded Mississippi's leading civil rights organization in the 1950s, the Regional Council of Negro Leadership and played a prominent role in the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till. He was also president of the National Medical Association and chairman of the board of the National Negro Business League.

The public is also invited to assemble at 11:45 a.m. for a parade down Old Hwy 61. The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and festivities will conclude with a luncheon immediately following the ceremony in the Mound Bayou Facilities Building located at 301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Also, a Mound Bayou resident will get the chance to win $1,000 during the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:15 p.m.

Confirmed guests and presenters during the luncheon include Ed Dwight, monument developer; Charles Evers, former field secretary for the Mississippi State NAACP; Bill Luckett, Democratic candidate for governor; and Dr. Leslie Pollard, vice president Loma Linda University School of Medicine, T.R.M. Howard’s alma mater; Kennedy Johnson, mayor of Mound Bayou; and Rev. Darryl Johnson, T.R.M. Howard’s event coordinator.

Tha Artstorian Reports:  Why Dr. T.R.M. Howard Should Be Remembered: The John The Baptist Of The Civil Rights Movement:

To Learn More About The Amazing Life Of Dr. Howard & Order The Book, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight For Civil Rights & Economic Empowerment Please Visit The Official Website:
Please Use The Following Link To View More Pics From The Dr. T.R.M. Howard Memorial Highway Dedication Event (All Pics Are © Property O f The W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Group):

Watch The Documentary “Black Maverick: Dr. T.R.M. Howard: Forgotten Civil Rights Hero” On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. TV:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special~Remembering The Black Maverick: Dr. T.R.M. Howard...
The Greatest Civil Rights Leader You Never Heard Of...

More Dr. T.R.M. Howard On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

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