Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr. Day wasn’t officially observed in all 50 states for the first time until 2000? Today we are happy to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the successes of his day. Enjoy this short video from Biography.com then read more about one of Columbus’ fine leaders!
Video source: http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086
In honor of MLK Jr. Day and our upcoming Troublemakers and Trailblazers exhibit, we wanted to share a little with you about a man who stood out in Columbus, GA during his time as one of the many successful leaders among the African-American community. The Columbus Museum brings American art and history to life for the communities of the Chattahoochee Valley and we are proud to recognize the success of these communities from past and present.
Dr. Thomas Brewer arrived in Columbus in 1920 to establish his first medical practice, joining a successful African-American medical community in the 1000 block of First Avenue. Brewer quickly became a leader among Columbus’ black professionals, and in 1929 he helped establish the Social-Civic-25 Club as a men’s service organization. Ten years later, this group became the basis for the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Brewer’s first significant move with the NAACP was a legal challenge of Georgia’s all-white primary system. Primus King, a local barber, agreed to attempt to vote at the Muscogee County Courthouse in 1944 and then sue after he was turned away. Brewer raised money for two years of court battles that resulted in the end of the white primary and several black voter-registration drives. Despite receiving threats, Brewer successfully campaigned for the hiring of Columbus’ first black police officers in 1951 and argued for funding equality in city schools.
Learn more about the Troublemakers and Trailblazers exhibit here and stay tuned for more exciting items we have to share for the upcoming Black History month!