Celebrated as “Georgia’s Official Civil Rights Museum”, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum is located at 460 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Savannah, Georgia. Opening in 1996, the museum is named in honor of Rev. Dr. Ralph Mark Gilbert, pastor of the First African Baptist Church from 1939 until his passing in 1956. He led the church, located at 23 Montgomery Street in Franklin Square of Savannah’s Historic District, for sixteen years.
An alumnus of the University of Michigan, Rev. Dr. Ralph Mark Gilbert, an orator and playwright, was celebrated throughout the United States. He, with neighborhood churches and Alpha Kappa Alpha (a Black sorority), developed Greenbrier Children’s Center. Also, with assistance from Black and White supporters, he established the West Broad Street branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
Perhaps what he is most recognized for in his mission of community outreach is his work in improving, socially and politically, the lives of African-Americans.