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Sun, 06.15.1919

Aurabelle Caggins, Community Activist born

Aurabelle Caggins

*Aurabelle Caggins was born on this date in 1919.  She was a Black educator, community activist, and politician. 

From Kiln, Mississippi, Aurabelle Denise Mondy moved to Bay St. Louis, MS, at the age of three with her family.  She was educated in the Gulfport school system and graduated from 33rd Avenue High School in 1937. She attended Alcorn State University, graduating with a bachelor's in Home Economics in 1941 as 1 of 25 graduates. She earned her Master of Science in Home Economics from Tuskegee Institute, now known as Tuskegee University. During this time, she married Myles B. Caggins, Sr. of Morning Star Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi. 

She studied further at the University of California UCLA and the University of Southern Mississippi.  She became a teacher in 1958; a career spanned 43 years.  Caggins taught in the Gulfport, MS school system at 3rd Avenue High School and Gulfport High School.  She was President of the Gulfport Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women. During her presidency, the first Head Start Program in Mississippi was founded in Soria City, Gulfport, Mississippi.

In 1985, she lost a bid for the Democratic mayoral nomination.  In 1988, Caggins was Chairperson of the city’s fourth precinct Democratic National Caucus. She was a delegate to the county, district, state, and national Democratic conventions. She ran unsuccessfully in 1989 for Council Seat Ward 2 of Gulfport. After that, she was elected Harrison County Precinct Commissioner, serving three terms (12 years). She was the oldest elected official in the State of Mississippi and the oldest Black Female elected official in the country at age 87. 

She also served in various capacities in the Zeta Phi Beta Incorporated Sorority.  She became the election commissioner of Harrison Country in 1992 and was re-elected for four terms.  Aurabelle Caggins a resident of Gulfport, Mississippi, died on March 2, 2016. 

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