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Jackson Senior Partner Reuben Anderson, First African-American Supreme Court Justice in Mississippi, Presides over Historic Civil Rights Museum Grand Opening

December 12, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. – Described by the President of the United States as "a great man with a great reputation, even outside of the state of Mississippi,” Jackson Senior Partner Reuben Anderson served as master of ceremonies for the historic opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Friday, December 9th, in Jackson, Mississippi.

Mr. Anderson, who was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in Mississippi, currently serves as Chairman of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Foundation and secured critical funding for the new museum.

“Reuben’s story is interwoven with the fabric of the civil rights movement in Mississippi,” said Jackson office Managing Partner Tommy Siler. “He has consistently broken down barriers and has helped others do the same. Now, he’s making sure that story is preserved for this generation and for generations to come. We are proud to support him and the museum.”

The museum contains photographs of Mr. Anderson as well as Senior Partner Fred Banks with history about their contributions to the civil rights movement.

Phelps Dunbar proudly supports the Freedom Riders section of the museum. The section, which is part of a broader gallery, includes a touch screen interactive exhibit to read personal stories of people who participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961.

About Reuben Anderson

Mr. Anderson was raised in Jackson, Mississippi where he befriended the son of NAACP lawyer Jack Young. Mr. Young, who worked on the Medgar Evers case, pushed Mr. Anderson to attend law school, and in 1967, he became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Mississippi School of Law. After law school, Mr. Anderson went on to serve as a Supreme Court Justice for Mississippi from 1985-1991. Other key positions have included: Circuit Court Judge for the 7th Circuit Court District, 1982-85; County Court Judge for Hinds County, 1977-82; Municipal Judge for the City of Jackson, 1976-77; Partner, Anderson, Banks, Nichols & Stewart, 1968-77; Mississippi Associate Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., 1967-75; Jamie L. Whitten Chair of Law and Government at the University of Mississippi, Fall of 1995. Mr. Anderson is currently a Senior Partner at Phelps Dunbar where he focuses on commercial litigation and regulatory and governmental matters.

About the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation. Its goal is to promote a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifices of its peoples.


With offices positioned along the Gulf Coast from Houston to Tampa, Phelps Dunbar is a regional law firm of more than 260 attorneys uniquely equipped to serve clients in the major commercial centers of the burgeoning “Third Coast” of the United States. Locations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Tupelo and Gulfport, Mississippi; Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Raleigh, North Carolina; and London enable Phelps Dunbar to serve clients not only along the Third Coast, but also the South, nationwide and abroad.