James Lee Dickey: An Analysis of One African-American's Leadership in Jim Crow Texas

A Selfless Man

In Taylor, Texas, Dr. James Lee Dickey encountered situations where African Americans were being exploited. With no ulterior motive, he rose to his people’s defense, never raising his voice, always relying on respectful relationships. In Dickey’s interview with the Saturday Evening Post, he explained, “I may have found a place where I could have made more money, but I am certain I could not have found a place where I could have been of more service to my people nor where my service would have been more appreciated.” The fact was that Dr. Dickey chose goodness over wealth as was evidenced by funding indigent patients himself, purchasing houses so his people could live in decent homes with proper sanitation, and creating a one man lobby to influence Taylor’s City Council. Because of his dedication to the betterment of all mankind, it made sense that he adopted the leadership style most similar to Booker T. Washington in each of the following categories:  health, housing, sanitation, education, business and racial equality

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