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Theodore R. Gibson

Posted By Luis Burbano, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Luis Burbano III

April 21, 2014

IDS 3336-U01

Professor Schoen, PhD

FLOR500 Project

            Theodore R. Gibson was an active member in the black community of Miami who served as a priest, civil rights demonstrator, and politician. Gibson was born in Miami, Florida in 1915. After receiving his Bachelors of Divinity in 1943, he was ordained as a Deacon, and later a priest in 1944.  He devoted more than half of his life serving at the Christ Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove, which was known as Miami’s oldest neighborhood and the first black settlement on the South Florida mainland. It was here in Miami that Father Gibson began to use his time, energy, and voice as an active member of the civil rights, filing lawsuits that desegregated popular public facilities around the city. Gibson served as the president of the Miami Chapter of the NAACP between the years 1954 and 1964. With the help of a colleague, he was able to transform the city of Coconut Grove to a more sustainable community, seeing as how there were heavy advantages of making allies in the white community. His hard work and dedication superseded beyond Coconut Grove, reaching as far as Dade and Broward County. Even up until his death in 1982, he was and still is known and remembered for his love and commitment to improving the human welfare of the African American population in Coconut Grove.

            I decided to plant my seeds at the house directly across the street from the Christ Episcopal Church of Coconut Grove, the same exact church that Theodore R. Gibson served for more than half of his life up until his passing. I was outside walking in front of the church about two weeks ago to see it for myself and I took a picture of the church. I saw an old woman living across the street and asked if she knew of Father Gibson and she said that she used to attend service with him back in the day. I asked if it would be okay to plant seeds on the church property itself and she didn’t think so, so then I asked if I could plant it in front of her place instead. She didn’t mind one bit, and it is on the small batch of grass against the fence line directly facing the church itself. Her granddaughter joined me in taking the picture, which was very much appreciated. It was beautiful and humble, just like the life of Theodore R. Gibson.

            

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