Mobile's Hidden Figures initiative originated from the Mobile United Leadership Mobile's Class of 2017 inaugural Diversity and Inclusion team. The objective is to raise awareness of diverse community members who strive to be their personal best and to serve as role models for all youth.
Our goal is to foster collaborative relationships and to present an opportunity to develop community partnerships that demonstrate the amazing strength and positive character of our port city. We value illustrating and telling the whole story of contributions by Mobile's hidden figures, while ensuring an eye to diversity and inclusiveness.
The Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail of Mobile (DFFAAHT) Board of Directors and the Mobile Arts Council partnered to create this inspirational space in Downtown Mobile. The Mobile Arts Council commissioned the mural and the historic marker was donated by the DFFAAHT of Mobile.
The mural depicts diverse Mobilians who have walked among us, made great strides, but often go overlooked or unrecognized in our hometown. The stories of their significant and historic contributions to the country and the world are noted on the historic marker and their faces are illuminated on the wall.
Regina Benjamin - U.S. Surgeon General, CEO, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
Regina Marcia Benjamin MD, MBA served as the 18th U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and is the founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama. Pope Benedict XVI awarded her the papal cross as Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pope) - the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity. She also received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights and is a MacArthur Fellow.
Major General J. Gary Cooper - USMC (ret) & U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica
Major General J. Gary Cooper, during the Vietnam War, was the first African-American to ever command a Marine Corps infantry company. In 1973, he was elected to the Alabama Legislature. By 1989, President Bush nominated him to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. In 1994, President Clinton named him the U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica. After 3 years, he returned to his home in Mobile and became Chairman of Commonwealth National Bank.
Dr. Lonnie Johnson - Inventor & Engineer
Lonnie George Johnson Ph.D. developed advanced ceramic battery technology and invented a solid state engine that converts heat directly into electricity. He worked with the Stealth Bomber program, the nuclear power source for the Galileo
mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn. Best known, he also invented the SuperSoaker water gun which ranked among the world's top 20 best-selling toys.