2002 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Creel, Barnett (116th), Dedeaux, Fredericks, Guice, Ishee, Janus, Peranich, Simpson, Clark, Coleman (65th), Zuber, Scott (80th)

House Concurrent Resolution 120

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


     WHEREAS, Dr. Gilbert Mason, Sr., known as Mississippi's "civil rights doctor," retired March 1, 2002, after 47 years of medical practice; and

     WHEREAS, growing up in the poorest neighborhoods of Jackson, Mississippi, Dr. Mason, determined not to be engulfed by impoverishment, attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and returned to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1955 to open his medical practice; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Mason, a self-described Freedom Boomer, is remembered in the civil rights struggle for organizing beach wade-ins, which marked the state's first civil disobedience; and

     WHEREAS, greatly praised for his contributions to Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Dr. Mason is spoken of highly by colleagues who acknowledge his outstanding leadership and honorable disposition as a physician and as a person; and

     WHEREAS, with unshakable love for mankind which runs intrinsically deep, Dr. Mason's life is a testimonial of the forward moving differences that can be made by maintaining a tenacious commitment to one's community and fellowman; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Mason's memoirs, "Beaches, Blood and Ballots:  A Black Doctor's Civil Rights Struggle," was published in 2000 and provides a detailed account of his encounters with segregation and Jim Crow; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Legislature of the State of Mississippi to recognize and commend outstanding Mississippians such as Dr. Mason, whose contributions to the field of medicine and to society as a whole have benefited the interests of the people of Mississippi and the entire nation:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Dr. Gilbert Mason, Sr., upon his retirement and extend to him our heartiest wishes for many more years of good health, peace and happiness and success in all his future endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Dr. Gilbert Mason, Sr., the Biloxi Regional Medical Center's Board of Directors and the members of the Capitol Press Corps.