Martin Luther King Jr.
1929 - 1968
One of the most visible and well known national civil rights leaders. Served as the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Ralph Abernathy, Sr.
1926 - 1990
Civil rights leader, activist, and Baptist minister. Co-creator of Southern Christian Leadership Conference and won praise as a mediator during the movement.
Avery C. Alexander
1910 - 1999
Louisiana civil rights leader and politician. Served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for 24 years. Organized and led many boycotts and sit ins, most notably of the New Orleans City Hall lunch counter. Co established the state’s legislative Black Caucus.
T. J. Jemison
1918 - 2013
Clergyman and civil rights activist. President of National Baptist Convention and co-founder of SCLC. Led a bus boycott in Baton Rouge that became the model for the Montgomery bus boycotts.
A. L. Davis
1914 - 1978
Local clergyman, activist, and politician. First black member of the New Orleans City Council. Founding member and 2nd vice president of SCLC. Heavily involved in the merchant boycotts and sit-ins in New Orleans.
National Civil Right Leader, minister, and politician. Founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. His 2 presidential campaigns led to 3 million new registered voters in 1984 & 1988. Served as the Washington DC senator for 2 terms. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Joseph A. Hardin
1875 - 1954
Founding Member of the Dryades YMCA. Founded the first formal African American insurance company in New Orleans. Active in efforts to improve opportunities for youth in public schools as well as recreationally.
1925 - 1963
Civil rights activist and 1st NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. Worked to overturn segregation in Mississippi and was assassinated for his Civil Rights efforts.
A. P. Tureaud, Sr.
1899 - 1972
A prominent Civil Rights lawyer. He headed the legal team of the New Orleans NAACP and filed the lawsuit that ended Jim Crow segregation in New Orleans. He also successfully defended one of the first sit in cases that went before the US Supreme Court.
Constance Baker Motley
1921 - 2005
A jurist and politician. She served as a New York State senator before becoming the first Black woman to become a federal judge. As a lawyer she wrote the original complaint in Brown V Board of education and was also the first Black woman to argue at the Supreme Court, winning 9 of 10 landmark civil rights cases.
1924 - 2016
An attorney and legal scholar. Served as director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund after Thurgood Marshall. Argued Brown v Board of Education with him as co council. Founding member of Human Rights Watch.
Robert L. Carter
1917 - 2012
Civil Rights activist, lawyer, and jurist. Succeeded Thurgood Marshall as general counsel to the NAACP after being special counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Co-founded the National Conference of Black Lawyers. Served as a judge for the Southern District of New York for 40 years.
Ernest “Dutch” Morial
1929 - 1989
Political figure and civil rights advocate. First Black person to receive a law degree from LSU in Baton Rouge, he came to prominence as a lawyer fighting to dismantle segregation. Was elected to the Louisiana state legislature and later served as judge. Most notably he was the 1st Black mayor of New Orleans, serving 2 terms.
Antoine M. “Mutt” Trudeau, Jr.
1927 - 1978
Appointed to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund by Thurgood Marshall. Best known for his work to end school segregation throughout Southeast Louisiana.
More than just the widow of Medgar Evers, she is an activist and journalist. A member of Delta Sigma Theta, she organized voter registration drives & civil rights demonstrations. She oversaw many community programs for the Atlantic Richfield Company.
1913 - 2005
Activist in the civil rights movement most known for her role in the Montgomery Bus boycotts which led to her becoming an international icon. She also served as the secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP.
Israel Augustine, Jr.
1924 - 1994
Lawyer and jurist. First general counsel for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and first Black judge in Louisiana. Served 12 years on the Orleans Criminal District Court before being elected to the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal.
1909 - 1979
Civil rights activist & social worker. He used a career in labor organizing across the south to start the People’s Defense league in 1941. It grew to over 20 chapters throughout Louisiana with a heavy focus on voter registration.
Lolis Elie, Sr.
1930 - 2017
Civil Right Attorney frequently representing protestors and demonstrators such as the Freedom Riders. Represented members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) after they were arrested at the McCrory’s lunch counter. The case made its way to the U.S Supreme Court and won, declaring the city’s ban on sit-ins unconstitutional.
Nils R. Douglas
1930 - 2003
Civil Rights lawyer in partnership with Mr. Lolis Elie. Founding member of Southern Organization for United Leadership (SOUL) which organized voter registrations and mobilization for Black voters. Served as commissioner of the Orleans Parish Criminal District court for 13 years.
Llewelyn J. Soniat, Sr.
1926 - 2014
Civil rights & community activist. Served as a member of the NAACP New Orleans Branch Executive Committee for 36 years. And was an advisor for the NAACP youth council from 1961-1989. He also was a volunteer coordinator on many political campaigns.
Revius O. Ortique
Civil Rights attorney & jurist. As the President of the Community Relations Council, he served as “chief negotiator” for the peaceful desegregation of lunch counters, hotels, and other public facilities in New Orleans. His work with the Louisiana state Bar Association became the model for pro bono legal work in the state. He went on to serve as a judge of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court and later become the first Black person elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Earl Amedee, Sr.
Civil rights lawyer. His successful challenge of the veteran and diploma privileges, used to admit Whites exclusively to the Louisiana Bar Association, paved the way for many African Americans to be admitted to the Bar without examination. He also represented the residents in Irontown in Plaquemines Parish where the residents were being denied running water. Later became the first Black man to serve as the Assistant District Attorney of Orleans Parish.
Norman C. Francis
Lawyer and educator. While dean of men at Xavier University he played a key role in the university’s decision to house the Freedom Riders in a campus dorm. He later became the first Black man and first lay person to become president of the university. During his 47- year tenure he brought a level of exponential growth to the nation’s only Catholic HBCU. He’s also a founding director of Liberty Bank and has served as its board chair since the bank’s inception in 1972.