Raylawni Branch, Willie Don Denard, Sr. & Charles Davis

Raylawni Branch

Raylawni Adams Branch is a local community leader, Red Cross volunteer, and a United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Retired). She is one of the first two African Americans to enroll at The University of Southern Mississippi upon desegregation in 1965.

Willie Don Denard, Sr.

W.D. Denard, Sr. was a notable local photographer and business owner who offered a range of services to members of the African-American community. Denard Photography opened in 1949 and was a well-known Historic Mobile Street business especially for senior class and graduation photographs. He provided professional photography services for more than five decades. This image of him was taken in his studio prior to today’s popular “selfies.”

Charles Davis

Charles Davis was an Air Force veteran, community organizer, and civil rights activist. Davis was an active historical researcher on African American life in Hattiesburg and State of Mississippi for many years. He remained involved in numerous organizations, including the NAACP, throughout his life.