1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Blackmon, Frazier, Horhn, Johnson (38th), Simmons

Senate Concurrent Resolution 559

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


WHEREAS, Amos Wesley Wright was born on September 3, 1918, in Hinds County, Mississippi, the third of five children of Alice Sue and Reaber Wallace Wright, and passed away on January 20, 1998; and

WHEREAS, Amos had a lifelong love and appreciation for the value of education; after graduating from Lanier High School he attended Alcorn A&M University where he received a B.A. Degree, and later Tuskegee Institute where he received his Masters Degree. His quest for education led him to continued studies at Jackson State University, Mississippi Southern University, DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, and the University of Rome in Italy; and

WHEREAS, Wright had a long and distinguished career as an educator and an administrator, but his first job in the system was that of band director in the Brookhaven Public Schools where he originated the first band ever at Alexander School in 1941; he remained as band director until 1957, taking two years in the early 40's to complete a tour of duty with the military; Amos credited his love of music and his ability as an instrumentalist to his mentor, Professor Kermit Holly, who fostered and nurtured Amos' natural talent as a musician from an early age; while still in high school he was used by Professor Holly as a star trumpet player with the college bands; in turn, Amos had many grateful students who benefited from his caring and concerned tutelage; he was responsible for bringing music to the ears of everyone in Brookhaven and across Mississippi, and also was the agent for supplying many schools throughout the state with band directors who were his former students; and

WHEREAS, after serving for 19 years in the Brookhaven Municipal Public School District--first as a band director, then as a classroom teacher, elementary and secondary principal, and Supervising Principal of the Negro Schools--Wright moved to Jackson and joined the Jackson Public School system where he soon made an indelible mark on the education of this city's children; and

WHEREAS, during his 23 years of service, he served as Deputy Superintendent; Assistant Superintendent for Programs, Curriculum and Staff Development; Director of Project Title III (in this capacity he set up the first kindergartens in the Jackson Public Schools); and finally as Director of the Colored Schools; following desegregation, Wright became an Administrative Assistant and was the first Black in the Walker Administration; he was also the first Black person named to the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television during Governor Bill Waller's administration; and prior to his retirement in 1984 Amos Wright served as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools; and

WHEREAS, throughout his career, Wright responded to each task with thoughtfulness, efficiency and determination; he saw the school district through turbulent as well as peaceful times, and he was always sensitively working for quality education for all the children; and he was at all times a humanitarian, a gentleman, and a friend; and

WHEREAS, he was the recipient of numerous honors, awards and certificates of appreciation, the most recent being the Amos Wright Education Award presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration Committee, to be given annually to an outstanding educator in our state; and

WHEREAS, he leaves to mourn his passing a devoted wife, Elnora; one sister, Mrs. Alice Pepper; one daughter, Mrs. Phyllis Anderson (and husband Reuben); two sons, Wansley Amos (and wife Jessie) and Frederick (and former wife Mary); eight grandchildren: Ary, Brian, Kevin, Nikki, Kenyatta and Javier Wright, and Raina and Vincent Anderson; one nephew, Arthur Pepper, Jr., five sisters-in-law: Mrs. Ruth Blackburn (and husband Archie), Mrs. Marcella McLemore (and husband Ben), Mrs. Wilhemina Wilson (and husband Thomas), Mrs. Delores M. Wright (husband Harry, deceased); Mrs. Evelyn Wright (husband Reaber, Jr., deceased) one brother-in-law, Wansley Hill (and wife Rachel); and a host of other relatives and friends who dearly loved him:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and accomplishments of Amos Wesley Wright of Jackson, Mississippi, an outstanding educator in our state, and extend the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this Resolution be presented to the family of Amos Wesley Wright and be made available to members of the Capitol Press Corps.