Branch, Raylawni, 1941-
"During the Civil Rights Movement, Raylawni participated in several activities, including the March on Washington in 1963. She was involved in the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). She integrated the Greyhound and Trailways bus stations in Hattiesburg, and was the first African American ever hired at the Big Yank clothing factory. She also became the first African American ever hired as a switchboard operator at the local telephone company. In 1965, at age twenty-four, Raylawni was Secretary of the Forrest County, Mississippi NAACP when the organization offered to pay her tuition to the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). On September 6, 1965, she and eighteen-year-old Hattiesburg native Elaine Armstrong became the first African American students at USM. Raylawni majored in Pre-Medicine and had a work-study job on campus in the biology department. Unfortunately, financial strain and personal problems caused her to leave USM after one year."--Inventory of the Branch (Raylawni) Collection, University of Southern Mississippi.