Saturday, September 18, 2010

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News Special Report: The Black Maverick Finally Gets His! Civil Rights Maverick & Trail Blazer Gets Highway Named In His Honor

***For Immediate Release*** 
Date: 9/17/2010
Contact: Bro. Ron/ R2C2H2 Tha Artivist
Phone: 901-299-4355

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Special Report: The Black Maverick Finally Gets His!
Civil Rights Maverick & Trail Blazer Gets Highway Named In His Honor
By R2C2H2 Tha Artivist
Tha Artivist & Teddy Gilmore, The Son Of Dr. T.R.M. Howard

Teddy & Daddy Then...

Teddy Gilmore, The Beitos & MS State Rep. Linda Coleman

It was a bright sunny Mississippi Delta Labor Day in the year of our Lord 2010 in the historic Black township of Mound Bayou, Ms which was founded by former enslaved Africans…It was also a more memorable and celebratory one as well…One of Mound Bayou’s sons finally got his long overdue recognition…Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason  Howard, one of the forgotten heroes of the American Civil Rights Movement, is finally becoming a household name or at least a more recognizable one…

The Old Friendship Clinic

 The Old Taborian Hospital

Maverick Helpers: Dr. Linda Beito & Dr. David Beito

Through the collective tenacity and collaboration of his definitive biographers the Beitos (Dr. Linda & Dr. David who wrote The Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight For Civil Rights & Economic Power), the Mississippi State Legislature, civic organizations & Elders of the Mound Bayou community, old highway 61 which runs past Dr. Howard’s old Friendship Clinic(his innovative hospital where he also created a park, a zoo and the first swimming pool for Blacks in Mississippi) and Taborian Hospital where he began his tenure as an innovative surgeon in 1942 will be forever known as Dr. T.R.M. Howard Memorial Highway. The passing of House Bill 598 in the Mississippi State Legislature endorsed by District 29 State Rep. Linda Coleman of Mound Bayou, Ms, made this long overdue moment possible.

The highway also goes past his former stately ranch style house and massive farm estate where he once housed Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, U.S. Rep. Charles Diggs, witnesses, journalists and others during the historic and tension filled Emmett Till Trial. Because of the numerous threats on his life, Dr. Howard’s house had armed bodyguards 24/7. In addition, Dr. Howard always kept a gun readily available and was an expert marksman himself, stemming from his days when he used to hunt for squirrels and other animals to literally feed his family in Murray, Kentucky when he was a youngster.

According to the Beitos, in addition to his hospital, swimming pool, park and zoo, Dr. Howard “had founded various business and community enterprises, including a housing construction firm, a credit union, an insurance company, a restaurant with a beer garden, and a thousand-acre farm where he raised cattle, quail, hunting dogs, and cotton.” He was considered during his time by many to be the wealthiest Black in Mississippi.  Dr. Howard was also president of the National Medical Association and chairman of the board of the National Negro Business League.

Family, friends, representatives of the organizations that Dr. Howard created and belonged to in life and curious onlookers all formed a colorful tapestry of humanity to witness something very unique in honor of a very unique individual. All gathered along Old Highway 61 now Dr. T.R.M. Howard Memorial Highway to witness the upbeat parade led by The JFK Memorial High School Marching Band which included a motorcade featuring both the police and fire departments as well as cars representing organizations affiliated or even started by Dr. T.R.M. Howard. It seemed like a surreal this is your life moment, with the only exception that the honored subject has been deceased since 1976.

The Beitos, who wrote the definitive Dr. T.R.M. Howard biography (a must read), gave away $2000 in prize monies to several lucky residents of Mound Bayou, Ms. Dr. T.R.M. Howard’s son, event planner extraordinaire Teddy Gilmore, who uncannily possesses his father’s charm and presence, came from Chicago to help unveil the new marker.

Tha Artivist & C. Sade Turnipseed

A luncheon was held at the Mound Bayou Neighborhood Facilities Building where food was provided as well as food for thought on the living legacy of Dr. T.R.M. Howard. Popular Delta News personality and cultural activist C. Shade Turnispeed served as mistress of ceremonies. A proclamation in honor of Dr. Howard was read by State Rep. Linda F. Coleman.

 Rev. Darryl Johnson

Event organizer, entrepreneur and proud Mound Bayou resident Rev. Darryl Johnson spoke with sincere religious fervor about the need for youths and the young at heart to understand the profound impact of Dr. Howard’s extraordinary example of service to humanity and that they too can be an impactful change agent and a credit to their community and people. Dr. Leslie Pollard, vice president Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Dr. Howard’s alma mater, spoke of the importance of keeping alive Dr. Howard’s legacy by making quality health care affordable and accessible to everyone. 

 Famed and prolific African American sculptor Ed Dwight came from Denver and was on hand to rally public support for the commission of a larger than life sculpture of Dr. Howard.

Ms Democrat Gubernatorial candidate and Morgan Freeman’s Business partner lawyer Bill Luckett and his wife Francine from Clarksdale, Ms, were also on hand to offer remarks of support and encouragement.  

The Beitos showed rare footage of Dr. Howard being interviewed for tv in Los Angeles:

Former NFL Player & Author Kevin Henry & Tha Artivist

Some prodigal sons and hometown heroes also made appearances at the function. Among those included were former Pittsburgh Steelers and author Kevin Henry and super literacy promoter Dr. Floyd Stokes also known as the Super Reader.

This Elder is 96 years young, was the Postmaster General Of Mound Bayou for 40 plus years and drives his own late model Cadillac.

Civil Rights Activist Dr. Elaine Baker remembers Dr. Howard well and recalled his love for and influence over the Mound Bayou community:

“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.”
Mound Bayou Alderman Shelton Woodley & Tha Artivist. Dr. Howard's example inspired him to become a public servant.

Many elders were in attendance. It seems like Mound Bayou has a usually high number of elders in their 90s who get around like they were in their 60s. Many recalled with childish glee, joy and admiration the effect that Dr. Howard had on the collective psyche of that small yet proud community.  It as if they have been waiting for decades to share and demonstrate their unconditional love for Dr. T.R.M. Howard with the world. Many other younger Elders took pride in knowing that Dr. T.R.M. Howard helped to deliver them into this world.  If you listen to the stories or testimonials one could imagine Dr. Howard as being this larger than life folk character with Herculean ability, but in actuality he was a flesh and blood man with some exceptional moral clarity when it came to human rights issues and steel resolve when it came to righting wrongs. 

Although Mound Bayou is still suffering from the lingering effects of “integration”, the automation of the cotton industry and this over-outsourced downturn economy, the renaming of this highway to honor one of their own seems to mark a spiritual upswing that could led to a physical and mental transformation or rebirth of this town which was once considered a prized jewel in the crown of Black America.

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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