A. P. Tureaud
Epic look at creole life in New Orleans from the 1800’s to the mid seventies, legendary lawyer A.P. Tureaud, Sr. and the fascinating life and wisdom of Alexander Pierre Tureaud, Jr. and his family. Our Living Legend is an educational consultant, artist, civil rights activist and public speaker. He is a retired school administrator with more than 30 years serving the White Plains Public Schools in New York. He was the first black undergraduate student at Louisiana State University, entering in 1953 by suing the school. A great example of the importance of knowing your history and the complications that brings.
Count Time Podcast Living Legend Alexander Pierre Tureaud, Jr.
Selected quotes and notes from Count Time Podcast with LD Azobra Interview with A.P. Tureaud, Jr.
Good evening. Good evening. Good evening it’s 4:00 PM. Stand up it’s count time, time for every man and woman to stand up and be counted. Welcome to another edition of Count Time podcast. I am brother LD Azobra. Thank you for joining us today.
Now, today is one of them days that we know the Lord has made, and we gonna rejoice and be glad in it, because I have here all Count Time guests are very, very special, but I have a true living legend sitting before me and before us, who has one of the most powerful stories to tell and share. His story goes back so far. His dad is part of this story and this the one and only Mr. AP Tureaud. Welcome to Count Time.
Well, thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. And I hope that I can give your audience some of the kind of information that I think might inspire them to go on and continue the work that so many of us have started many years ago.
I’m a product of New Orleans. I grew up in the Creole neighborhood of the 7th Ward, and I’m one of six children. My father was one of twelve children, and my mother was one of ten children. My father was AP Tureaud Sr, whose father was a contractor and a carpenter, and they lived in the Marigny near the riverfront, near the French market. And he was born in 1899 and he was the third to last child in that family. He was one of six boys and six girls. His father left the family when he was a teenager and went to New York to live with his mother and his step brothers, and the family had to fend for themselves. My father was very industrious and very smart, and although his older brothers were in the construction business, he did not like construction work. He wanted to go to school and finish high school.
There was no black high school in New Orleans at that time. So he got a job as a strike breaker on the Illinois Central Railroad, went to Chicago, eventually went to New York, and ended up in Washington, DC, where he got a job in the law library that serves the Supreme Court as a clerk. He was still a teenager, and he enrolled in Dunbar High School. But because he had to work during the day, he didn’t finish high school until he was 21 years old.
Hold on. So he went and got a job at a law library as a teenager.
He had taken a civil service exam before he left New Orleans because somebody had said to him, they’re giving exams for jobs. He took this exam, and he never heard what happened to his test results until he got to New York. The examining board had sent him a letter in New Orleans that he had made a very high score, and so his mother sent it to his older brother in New York, where he was living, and they had offered him a job in Washington, DC. And the law library, which served as Supreme Court. He worked there for several years.
And he was a researcher. When he graduated from Howard University Law School, he got an award for having one of the highest grades in legal research. And he was a meticulous person with details, and he always wanted everything to be precisely accurate, although he was very calm and quiet spoken. He was very smart, but he was a guy who didn’t have any ego. He was self effacing, and he just was easy to get along with.
That’s where you get it from.
Well, I get some of that from him. My mother, on the other hand, was a Dejoie. Her family, the Dejoie, were she was a pharmacist. She had been to Howard University. Her father, two of her uncles, two of her brothers had gone to pharmacy school. The older relatives went to pharmacy school during Reconstruction because in New Orleans during Reconstruction, there was a school of pharmacy law and medicine at University of New Orleans and at Strait, which became Dillard University. And so my mother’s family, they were well off. They had two drug stores. My grandfather, Joseph Jules Dejoie, was one of the founding members of the Louisiana Life Insurance Company with his cousins.
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