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Lunch with a Legend: A discussion with A.P. Tureaud Jr.

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A.P. Tureaud Jr. receiving his honorary doctorate from LSU, 2011.

A.P. Tureaud Jr. receiving his honorary doctorate from LSU, 2011.

On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 12:00 pm, A.P. Tureaud Jr. visited LSU campus’s Hill Memorial Library to talk about LSU, Louisiana, and the Civil Rights Movement. During his visit, he spoke to a group of students studying the Civil Rights movement with Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. The event was sponsored by the African and African American Studies Program at LSU, and LSU Libraries Special Collections.

LSU Libraries Special Collections holds the records of LSU, as well as the oral histories from the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, part of LSU Libraries collections. An oral history of A.P. Tureaud from 1993 is part of those collections and is accessible online both in audio format and in transcript in the Louisiana Digital Library.

A.P. Tureaud, Jr.’s relationship with the LSU campus is a complicated one. In May of 2011, Tureaud was awarded an honorary doctorate from LSU. His early experiences were quite different. After graduating from J. S. Clark High in New Orleans, he sued LSU and was the first person of color to attend the undergraduate school in 1953. Due to a legal technicality, he was forced to withdraw from LSU.  His dismissal was appealed by his father, civil rights attorney, A. P. Tureaud, Sr. and the U. S. Supreme Court allowed him to return until his case was decided by a three judge court. Due to extreme prejudice and isolation experienced by A.P. Jr., he refused to return and entered Xavier University in New Orleans, from which he graduated in 1957. The following spring he received a master’s degree from Columbia University in rehabilitation counseling.

Clipping from Daily Reveille, 1953 A. P. Tureaud, Sr. and Jr., upon latter’s impending registration as LSU’s first African-American undergraduate.

Clipping from Daily Reveille, 1953 A. P. Tureaud, Sr. and Jr., upon latter’s impending registration as LSU’s first African-American undergraduate.

For ten years he taught in public schools in New Orleans, Washington, DC and White Plains, NY. For the next twenty-six years he was the director of special education in the White Plains School, retiring in 1996. In addition to adjunct teaching at Hunter College, College of New Rochelle and Pace University, Tureaud received a sabbatical grant to study special education programs in Africa and Europe.

He is currently a freelance educational consultant, artist, public speaker and author.  His book, co-authored with Dr. Rachel Emanuel, A More Noble Cause, published by the LSU Press in 2011, chronicles the civil rights struggle in Louisiana.

Jessica Lacher-Feldman is the Head of Special Collections at Louisiana State University.

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