"A.P. Tureaud was a great man. The Lord put you here on earth for three things: to work for God, to work for your family, and to work for your people. And A.P. Tureaud was a master of all three. That man's courage was unbelievable. In this age of civil rights we got where we are today by the efforts and dedication of men like A.P. Tureaud."
- Thurgood Marshall
A.P. Tureaud was born less than 40 years after the end of slavery and just three years after the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court established the "separate but equal" doctrine of legalized racial segregation. Tureaud lived under Jim Crow laws, the most severe implementation of racial separateness, and worked to see these laws abolished.
A 1925 graduate of the Howard University Law School, Tureaud was admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 1927 and admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1935.
As the local attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., and intimate of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Tureaud handled practically all the desegregation and other civil rights cases filed in Louisiana from the early 1940s through the 1960s. Among the many civil rights cases, 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 January 22, 1972, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
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