Civil rights museum honors Savannah first black firemen
(Savannah-AP) -- Savannah's first six African-American
firefighters were publicly recognized yesterday by the Ralph Mark
Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.
The six men became firefighters in 1963, in a decade filled with
racial tensions.
Purdy Bowers says he remembers meetings at the firehouse, when
whites would get up and move if a black firefighter sat down in the
same row.
Museum Director Helen Johnson says the museum wanted to
recognize the courage of these men, not only in fighting fires but
also fighting stereotypes and racial discrimination.
The museum is putting together an exhibit honoring the
firefighters and is asking people to share any memorabilia,
pictures or historical information they may have about Savannah's
first black firefighters.
Fire Chief Paul Taylor also was recognized yesterday as the
first black fire chief in Savannah. He was appointed last year.
(From WSAV)

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