New historical marker for Biloxi Beach Wade-Ins installed

It was a ceremonious rekindling of American history, the marker signifying the Biloxi Wade-In protests has been replaced after it was knocked down by storms.

The Biloxi Wade-Ins were protests in the 50s and 60s against segregated beaches.

Demonstrators attempted to desegregate the beaches in their hometown by wading into the coastal waters and at one point, the protesters were attacked by white Biloxians.

The event inspired the formation of our local chapter of the NAACP. Activist Ethel Rainey Clay said, “I’m happy to see everybody come out in remembrance of something that happened so long ago. It’s like we’re keeping a dream alive, like Martin Luther King said. But we have come so far. But we still have miles to go before we sleep. I’d like to encourage our young people to stop killing each other. Realize their backgrounds and where they come from, and move on the shoulders of each other so that they will be able to make this a better place, not only for themselves but for each other and their future people and children to come.”

Dr. Gilbert Mason planned the original wade-in with famed activist Medgar Evers before Evers’ assassination.

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