14. MAMGA History

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The Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association, or “MAMGA” as the locals say, was incorporated in 1938 under the leadership of an African-American man of the Mobile community, with a perpetual mission to provide cultural knowledge and interests for the celebration of Carnival activities in Mobile, Alabama. Dr. W. L. Russell, a local dentist, served as president for the first fifty years. The first MAMGA royal court was suggested and selected in 1940 with the assistance of Mrs. Frederica Evans, appointed as chairperson of the coronation.

The stately coronation, of which a part is playing on the video monitor, is open to the public. The MAMGA king goes by the name of King Alexis I, which was created by Mrs. Evans. MAMGA also stages one of the largest parades of the Mobile Carnival season, the Mammoth Parade, which is held on Fat Tuesday. Many prominent Mobilians have participated in carnival events of MAMGA  including Alexis Herman, a former queen who went on to become the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, and Henry Hank Aaron, a former grand marshall who was the greatest baseball hitter of all time.

This gallery is the Joe McRae gallery room, in honor of Joseph McRae, a former president of MAMGA, who was responsible for MAMGA becoming a leader within the mystic societies of Mobile.