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Black History Month

History-makers of Southeast Louisiana

A. P. Tureaud

Photo from A.P.

A.P. Tureaud (1899-1972) -- prominent civil rights attorney & activist


Alexander Pierre Tureaud was born in New Orleans in 1899, three years after the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision that established the "separate but equal" doctrine of legalized racial segregation. In 1925, he completed law school at Howard University. Two years later, he returned home to New Orleans and was admitted to the Louisiana Bar Association. In 1927, he joined the NAACP as an attorney for their Legal Defense Fund, filing lawsuits to desegregate schools, businesses, and public facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi. Between 1937 and 1947, Tureaud was the only black lawyer in the state of Louisiana.

From the early 1940's through the 1960's, Tureaud handled nearly all desegregation and civil rights cases filed in Louisiana. Among them, Tureaud successfully obtained equal pay for Louisiana's black teachers and the admission of qualified students-- regardless of color-- to state-supported professional, graduate and undergraduate schools. He fought to end segregation on city buses in Louisiana, and he successfully defended one of the first sit-in cases to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tureaud died on January 22, 1972. At his funeral, his longtime associate and noted civil rights attorney, Thurgood Marshall, delivered the eulogy.

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The books listed below are available for you at Sims Memorial Library.