“A.P.” Tureaud Sr. – A Portrait Collection First

A.P. Tureaud, Jr. addresses the audience during the portrait presentation ceremony.

A.P. Tureaud, Jr. addresses the audience during the portrait presentation ceremony.

The Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society and the A.P. Tureaud Sr. Legacy Committee were joined by Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson and the Associate Justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court on March 13, 2014 for the presentation and installation of the portrait of the late New Orleans civil rights attorney Alexander Pierre “A.P.” Tureaud, Sr.

Following the courtroom ceremony at 400 Royal Street, the portrait was permanently installed in the State Wing of the Louisiana Law Library, located on the second floor of the courthouse.  Painted by Haitian artist and New Orleans resident Ulrick Jean-Pierre, the portrait is a gift to the Louisiana Supreme Court from A.P. Tureaud, Jr.

A.P. Tureaud, Sr. was the preeminent civil rights attorney of Louisiana from the mid 1920’s until his death in 1972.  As the local attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Tureaud handled nearly all of the desegregation and other civil rights cases filed in Louisiana that successfully ended Jim Crow segregation throughout New Orleans and the state.

“In this year, as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is fitting that the portrait of this tireless civil rights attorney be prominently displayed in Louisiana’s highest court and that the A.P. Tureaud, Sr. portrait will be the first African-American attorney portrait among the court’s historical collection,” Chief Justice Johnson said.

The featured speaker of the courthouse ceremony was Dr. Norman C. Francis, President of Xavier University of Louisiana.  Dr. Francis was a colleague and friend of A.P. Tureaud, Sr.  Okyeame Haley of the Louisiana Supreme Court was the master of ceremonies, and other presenters included A.P. Tureaud, Jr., who in 1953 became the first person of color to attend the formerly segregated Louisiana State University; Donna D. Fraiche, President of The Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society; and Royce Duplessis, President of The A.P. Tureaud Sr. Legacy Committee.

Over 150 people attended this historical event, which was supported by 47 collaborators, including numerous universities and organizations.