MARY ALICE SHIPP Mary Alice Shipp (November 30, 1927 – July 9, 2011) was an African Americancivil rightsactivistand educator from Sylvester, Georgia. She was a faithful advocate for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and for more than forty years, she was a part of the human rights struggle. Life Mary Alice Shipp was born in Alamo, GA to the late Aaron O. Cook, Sr. and the late Abbie Hall Cook Steward. She retired as an educator after twenty-eight years of service. Mary Shipp united with Curtis Shipp, which became a dynamic duo working to help citizen of Worth and surrounding counties. For more than forty years, she became a part of the human rights struggle, a devout Christian, an advocate for the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a fighter for human rights, and a mentor. Her efforts recognized by numerous entities and organizations for her untiring efforts to help the poor and less fortunate. She donated most of her memorabilia to the Albany Civil Rights Museum. She was appointed to the Georgia board of corrections and the Georgia Hunger Coalition, a member of the Sylvester City Council, President of the Worth County NAACP, Director of Worth County Save the Children and Eponymously Started the Mary Alice Shipp Community Development Corporation. The opening of the Mary Alice Shipp Senior Center being named in her honor was a great moment of pride for her. She was devout member of Corinth C.M.E. Church in McRae, GA where she served for many years. After moving to Sylvester she served as a faithful member of Brown’s Chapel C.M.E. Church, until her death and was affiliated with Jones Chapel A.M.E. Church. After years of declining health, Mary Alice Shipp passed away on Saturday, July 9, 2011 in Albany, Georgia.
Activism For more than forty years, Mary Alice Shipp stood among Southwest Georgia’s great civil rights pioneers and community leaders. In 1979, her husband Curtis Shipp became Sylvester’s first black elected official, and three years later, she would become Sylvester’s first black woman to run for mayor. While she was not elected for mayor, she was elected in 1984 as the first black female to hold a seat on the city council. In 1992, she served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and was appointed by Governor Zell Miller to serve on the Georgia Board of Corrections. She served as a member of the Georgia Hunger Coalition, the president of the Worth County NAACP, and the director of “Save the Children” in Worth County.
Legacy Mary Alice Shipp was inducted into the Southern Rural Black Women’s Hall Of Fame. In April 2008, Shipp donated various trophies, plaques, photographs and other accolades to the Albany Civil Rights Institute, a museum located at 326 Whitney Ave, Albany, GA. One of her most noteworthy accomplishments/recognitions was having the Mary Alice Shipp Senior Center in Sylvester, Georgia named in her honor. Shipp, also, eponymously started the Mary Alice Shipp Community Development Corporation in 2009.