Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Houston, MS Honors Hometown Heroes: The Pilgrim Jubilees

From Sarah Alfred:

The Pilgrim Jubilees were honored by their hometown, Houston, MS, on June 6, 2009 with a dedication of a street (The Pilgrim Jubilees Way).

The Jubes, as they are affectionately called, have remained steadfast, unmovable in their some 50 plus years of dedication to their music ministry.

The Jubes came up singing during a time when segregation was at the height of adversities, but was a way of life. The group founders, Mr. CB and Theophilus Graham, organized the group back in the 1940’s when the only arenas to perform were the black churches in the area.

In the 1950’s when brothers Cleve and Clay Graham took over the group with Major Roberson, segregation was still very much a way of living, but the group was determined to keep singing and traveling.

The Pilgrim Jubilees today, along with the Caravans, have the most members still living that came up during the civil rights era.

The ceremony was very touching and memorable by those who spoke and shared what it was like 65 years ago in Houston, MS.

Mayor Stacy Parker stated this was the most exciting event to take place in the city in ten years and was honored to be a part of this historical event. One of the Historical Society Board Members shared remarks that they too were pleased to be sharing in history.

Clay Graham spoke about how he knew a change would come to the city. He also remembered about how a Black person wasn’t allow to walk on the main street, and with tears in his eyes looked up to see that very same street named in his group’s honor. Brother Cleve Graham was overwhelmed and had teary eyes as he, too, remembered.

Clay’s final remarks were, "A Long Time Coming But We Are Here Today!"

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