Ralph Mark Gilbert

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Ralph Mark Gilbert
Born March 17, 1899
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Died August 23, 1956
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Organization NAACP
Movement National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) lead American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968), American Civil Rights Movement

Ralph Mark Gilbert (March 17, 1899, Jacksonville, Florida - August 23, 1956, New York City) was an American civil rights leader and a Baptist minister.

Religious Ministry[edit]

From 1939 until his death in 1956, he was the Pastor of the First African Baptist Church, located at 23 Montgomery Street on Franklin Square in Savannah's Historic District.[1]

Civil Rights[edit]

From 1942 to 1950, Gilbert served as president of the Savannah Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).[2] Under his tenure, the local chapter was reorganized, hundreds of Blacks were registered to vote, a progressive white Democratic politician, John G. Kennedy, became Mayor of Savannah and the city's Police Department hired its first Black police officers, known as the Original Nine.[3]


Reverend Gilbert died August 23, 1956 while on vacation in New York City, New York.[4]


Savannah's Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum is named in honor of Dr. Gilbert. The museum is located at 460 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.in the Wage Earners Bank building constructed in 1914. Renovation of the building began in 1993 to house the museum and opened as Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in 1996.

External links[edit]