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.

 

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Contents

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
13 Desegregation of Primary and Secondary Schools
150
14 The Politician
161
15 Desegregation Battles after Brown
182
16 Enforcing Browns 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

9 The War Years
92
10 NAACP Lawyer
101
Illustrations follow page
116
11 Law and Fatherhood
117
12 Separate but Equal Strengthened in the Face of Desegregation
127
21 Courts Are the Way
249
22 Race against Time
257
Notes
265
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

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.

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