In 1953, I integrated Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. My admission, as the first black student on a campus today serving more than 30,000 students, was possible after my father and namesake, civil rights attorney A.P. Tureaud Sr., successfully challenged LSU’s discriminatory admissions policies.
That lawsuit and more filed by my father, alongside Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights advocates, paved the way for the end of legally sanctioned American apartheid in many public institutions in Louisiana. Regrettably, more than 50 years after we fought to dismantle racial segregation in my home state, another challenge has to be waged to bring racial inclusion to another Louisiana public institution — the 32nd Judicial District Court, which serves Terrebonne Parish.
The Terrebonne Parish Branch NAACP and black voters from Terrebonne head to a trial this March to ensure that Terrebonne’s black community has a voice in electing judges on a state court that adjudicates their cases.
After suing to become the first black undergraduate student to enroll at LSU, and having a lifelong career as an educator, A.P. Tureaud Jr. was awarded an honorary doctorate by LSU in 2011. He currently resides in Connecticut.
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