Riceboro native and civil rights leader Mary L. Baggs, graduated from Dorchester Academy in 1932. “My lifelong dream has come true,” Baggs said. “We as people, black and white, are much more loving towards each other now than 50 years ago.”
From Dorchester had important role in Civil Rights History By Charlotte Marten Coastal Courier correspondent
She attended elementary school in Riceboro, and was valedictorian of her class when she graduated from Dorchester Academy. She received her BS degree from Georgia State College (Now Savannah State College), and her MS degree from New York University.
She started her teaching career at Pine Grove School in Groveland, Georgia, and taught black and white children in Liberty County schools in grades one through seven for the next 32 years. She was teaching at Bacon Primary School in Hinesville when she retired after 39 years as a teacher.
She says "My most rewarding, most joyful, and pleasurable years were spent teaching first graders." She says all of her students were special and she thinks she taught them some special things. She says it always gave her pleasure to see youths growing in the right direction, and to know that she started them off in life on the right foot.
She married1 Earl M. Baggs of Liberty County and they had two children, Edytha ("Dottie) Baggs Mountain and James Stanley Baggs. Earl M. Baggs was the first2 black Liberty Countian elected to the Liberty County Board of Commissioners. He was elected in 1966 and was still serving in the position more than 20 years later.
From "Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia" by Robert Long Groover; Appendix Number 33, Page(s) 186; Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office
1 They met at Dorchester Academy in the l920s.
2 Since the post-Civil War reconstruction era