A More Noble Cause: A. P. Tureaud and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Louisiana

A More Noble Cause: A. P. Tureaud and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Louisiana


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Throughout the decades-long legal battle to end segregation, discrimination, and disfranchisement, attorney Alexander Pierre Tureaud was one of the most influential figures in Louisiana's courts. A More Noble Cause presents both the powerful story of one man's lifelong battle for racial justice and the very personal biography of a black professional and his family in the Jim Crow—era Louisiana.
During a career that spanned more than forty years, A. P. Tureaud was at times the only regularly practicing black attorney in Louisiana. From his base in New Orleans, the civil rights pioneer fought successfully to obtain equal pay for Louisiana's black teachers, to desegregate public accommodations, schools, and buses, and for voting rights of qualified black residents. Tureaud's work, along with that of dozens of other African American lawyers, formed part of a larger legal battle that eventually overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized racial segregation.
This intimate account, based on more than twenty years of research into the attorney's astounding legal and civil rights career as well as his community work, offers the first full-length study of Tureaud. An active organizer of civic and voting leagues, a leader in the NAACP, a national advocate of the Knights of Peter Claver — a fraternal order of black Catholics — and a respected political power broker and social force as a Democrat and member of the Autocrat Club and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Tureaud worked tirelessly within the state and for all those without equal rights.
Both an engrossing story of a key legal, political, and community figure during Jim Crow—era Louisiana and a revealing look at his personal life during a tumultuous time in American history, A More Noble Cause provides insight into Tureaud's public struggles and personal triumphs, offering readers a candid account of a remarkable champion of racial equality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807137932
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 04/25/2011
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 468,937
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rachel L. Emanuel, Director of Communications and Development Support at Southern University Law Center, is the writer and producer of the documentaries Journey for Justice: The A. P. Tureaud Story and Taking a Seat for Justice: The 1960 Baton Rouge Sit-Ins.
Alexander P. Tureaud, Jr., is an educational consultant, retired school administrator, artist, and public speaker.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

1 Underestimated and Misperceived 1

2 Of Creole Heritage 4

3 Educating Alex 17

4 Southern Exodus 24

5 Preparing for a Legal Career 34

6 Return to New Orleans 54

7 Meeting Lucille 66

8 Growing Community Involvement 80

9 The War Years 92

10 NAACP Lawyer 101

11 Law and Fatherhood 117

12 "Separate but Equal" Strengthened in the Face of Desegregation 127

13 Desegregation of Primary and Secondary Schools 150

14 The Politician 161

15 Desegregation Battles after Brown 182

16 Enforcing Brown's Mandate in New Orleans Grade Schools 195

17 Catholics and Desegregation 212

18 More to the Desegregation Mandate 218

19 Reconstructing Public Education 229

20 More Direct Action 238

21 Courts Are the Way 249

22 Race against Time 257

Notes 265

Index 285

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