Gulf Coast

Blessing of the Fleet

The seafood industry helped to establish Biloxi. While the area was first settled by the French in the early 18th century, Biloxi was primarily a quiet resort community until the late 1800s when several local businessmen opened seafood canning plants. The industry developed during this time due to the establishment of a railroad link to […]

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Bernadette Goodness

Saucier resident Bernadette Goodness began learning the traditional dances of her native Philippines while attending high school in her hometown of Davao City. Traditional dance is part of physical education classes in the Philippines, just as square dancing used to be in many American schools. Francisca Reyes Aquino had conducted systematic research on Philippine national

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Mario Garcia Group

Many of the immigrants from Mexico to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast attend Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, which welcomes many international parishioners. There’s a Filipino mass every Wednesday evening, and a Spanish-language mass every Monday, at which Mario Garcia, Lalo Herrera, and Leopoldo Villegas sing and play their guitars, along with a rotating crew of

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Charles Fairley

Charles Fairley, Jr., was born in 1932 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Moss Point. He began playing saxophone at eight years old and received his first instrument, an alto saxophone, from his paternal uncle Ollie John “Boss” Tatum, who had worked in minstrel shows with artists including Bessie Smith. Fairley later received a tenor

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Bill Holland

Bill Holland was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1946 and grew up in its Back Bay neighborhood. The area was home to many of the city’s boatyards and seafood canning factories. His mother worked in the plants and his father served as a schooner captain. Holland grew up playing around the various boatyards in his

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