Black History display at the Gulfport Museum of History

Gulfport is home to many historical African American figures and for the first time, the Gulfport Museum of History will be displaying many of those who have paved the way.

John C. Robinson, Tavis Smiley, and Anna May are just a few local African American figures being showcased in the first Black History display at the Gulfport Museum of History.  Gulfport Museum of History President Betty Shaw said, “Some of the artifacts here are from the museum that was here before Hurricane Katrina. Many of the items come from people who are generous and generously donated either the item or a scan of it so we can display that item.”

The museum opened in March 2020, but was forced to close due to COVID-19. Now, the museum is back open and hoping to spread local black history with the help of some students. “Students will be writing reports or interviews about people that knew some of these people.”

The display showcases those nationally and internationally within the Gulfport area. “The display is based on local people. People who either stayed in Gulfport and made a difference in the community or people who left Gulfport and were known around the world.”

Shaw went into detail about John C. Robinson. He was a graduate of 33rd Avenue School and a well-known aviator who helped fight in the Ethiopian Air Force against Italy. “He established flight schools for African Americans, the first flight schools for African Americans in Chicago and Detroit and he is from Gulfport, Mississippi.”

The display will be finished and open to the public next week. The Gulfport Museum of History is located in the Historic Union Station Depot. It is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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