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


Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph along with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. are all nationally recognized African American leaders between 1877 and 1960. Through their powerful oratory, litigation, strikes, protests, and marches, they sought a better life for freed slaves and their descendants. Few, however, impacted the daily routine of black Americans. In a place and time in which freedom was granted but equality denied, lesser known community members often assumed the mantle of leadership in issues directly pertaining to their lives, specifically in areas of education, business, housing, sanitation, health, and medical care. In the central Texas town of Taylor, Dr. James Lee Dickey was that person. Delve into the following sections to learn about African American lives in the years following emancipation, the leaders that guided them and the actions of one physician, James Lee Dickey, that caused a Southern town to name him Citizen of the Year a decade before Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement.

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