VICKSBURG, MS (WLBT) - The City of Vicksburg celebrated the accomplishments of its first African American mayor, Robert M. Walker, on Monday.
The Board of Aldermen and Mayor George Flaggs approved a resolution to rename the annex building that is connected to city hall in his honor. It is now named the Robert M. Walker Annex Building.
“I think it says to folks, that when you serve and you serve right, all kinds of good things can happen," said former mayor Robert Walker. “That don’t necessarily point exclusively to the person’s name who is there, but it points to the massive effort that caused it to be.”
Former Mayor Walker fought back tears as Mayor George Flaggs and city leaders unveiled the new name of the building next to city hall. Hundreds of local and state leaders, as well as community members, friends and family, were also on hand to honor the Vicksburg native.
Michael Walker is the former mayor’s younger brother, and he bragged on his brother and all his accomplishments during a special dedication ceremony.
“He served as mayor, Warren County supervisor, and he was one of the first black students to attend the University of Mississippi," said Michael. “And even in all that, he has done he did it at a high level.”
As a college student, Robert worked with Medgar Evers on voter registration. He was also committed to helping fight for justice and equality by joining the NAACP.
During his time in Vicksburg, he helped establish the city’s first police precinct, and he raised money to build a housing development to educate and provide job training to single parents.
Robert also led a 16-year effort to have an African-American Civil War Monument erected in the Vicksburg National Military Park.
“I know a lot of people in this community are standing on Robert’s shoulders, because he is always thinking about us and the future,” said a Vicksburg Resident.
As the world honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert said he is honored to also be celebrated on this special day.
“Dr. King was my idol,” he said.