He was represented by Z. Alexander Looby and Charles Houston who by the way mentored Thurgood Marshall. Charles Houston alongside Thurgood Marshall, played a pivotal role in the Brown vs the board of Education, a landmark case in 1954 ruling racial segregation in public shools was unconstitutional.
Pledgees at candlelight ceremony
Welcome our new Pledgees
In April 1936, William Benjamin Redmond II filed a lawsuit in order to gain admission to the pharmacy school at the University of TN in Nashville.
Soror Bolden with Black History trivia challenge
Someone You Should Know!
During our February meeting we honored Sorors Davenport and Fletcher's paternal grandfather.
(Annotation from the presentation delivered by Soror Davenport)
In 1896 the Supreme Court sanctioned legal separation of the races by its ruling in Plessy vs Ferguson which stated that separate but equal did not violate the 14th amendment which granted citizenship and equal protection under the law to all citizens including formerly enslaved people. As a result of the constitutionality of racial segregation, Jim Crow laws became commonplace.
In 1909, the year our grandfather was born in Franklin Tennessee, the NAACP was founded.
Soror Davenport presents her grandfather's history during Black History someone you should know
Our grandfather did not prevail in court. He later withdrew his appeal in 1937 after TN began providing out of state scholarships for black students seeking graduate study in disciplines offered exclusively at white institutions.
Image that he may have had to face lynching or other forms of racial violence common during that time . Imagine that his lawsuit could have been the catalyst for TN state to offer scholarships for Black Students. Imagine his lawsuit in 1936 became one of the sounding boards that drove Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall to argue the case before the Supreme Court in the Brown vs the Board of Education case..
William Benjamin Redmond II
Our grandfather was one of the Negroes, as we were called during that time, that was fortunate to attend college. He attended Tennessee A&I, (Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College). The name was changed to Tennessee State University in 1968.
African American History Celebration
Even though our grandfather did not prevail in court, in my mind he did. William B. Redmond II died in 1993 at 84 years of age. He was one of the many Black Americans that dared to hold his head up high, look Southernrs in the eyes and say, I am not afraid. He was an unsung hero of desegregation.