Gulfport native John C. Robinson moved to Chicago and became a pilot after graduating from the Tuskegee Institute in the early 1920s when blacks were considered incapable of grasping the principles of aviation. He did this by taking a job as janitor of the Curtis Wright Flight School and earning the respect of one of the instructors. After graduating, he stayed on as an instructor and helped other Africian-Americans enter the field. He later convinced his Alma Mater to open a flight school--thus paving the way for the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII.
In this episode, Gulfport writer Thomas Simmons shares stories of Robinson that he gathered in eight years of research for his book: The Brown Condor-The True Adventures of John C. Robinson.
Wendell Taylor of Gulfport became a Methodist minister in 1937. In this week's episode, he discusses Gulfside Assembly, a retreat for black Methodists located in Waveland.
Gulfside was founded in 1923 to provide spiritual, educational and recreational facilities to African-Americans who were denied access elsewhere because of segregation. Taylor remembers the outstanding church leaders who were educated at Gulfside.
In 2005, Gulfside Assembly was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Plans to rebuild the historic site are pending.