Civil rights activist McLemore next Speakers & Issues guest

Speakers & Issues

Civil rights activist McLemore next Speakers & Issues guest

Within a month of beginning his first semester at Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss., in 1960, Leslie B. McLemore participated in a boycott of a theater because they would not allow blacks to sit in the downstairs section, beginning a life of civil rights activism and research on southern black electoral politics.

McLemore will be the next guest for Midwestern State University’s Speakers & Issues Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas. His topic will be “The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party: Some Personal Reflections.”

The event was originally scheduled for Feb. 6 but was rescheduled because of wintry weather conditions.

While at Rust College, McLemore would continue to be involved in student protests. He also became involved with the NAACP, becoming a founding president of Rust’s NAACP chapter, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for various activities including voter registration drives. McLemore served as northern regional coordinator for the Freedom Vote campaign in 1963.

He graduated from Rust College in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in social science and economics. He earned a master’s degree in political science from Atlanta University and a doctorate in government from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

McLemore is founding chair and former dean of the graduate school at Jackson State University, where he also was a political science professor. He has held leadership roles in the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the Southern Political Science Association. He served on the Jackson City Council, as vice-chairman of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and Director of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. He is a member of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.

The Speakers and Issues Series began in 2001 with the idea of bringing informed and creative speakers to the academic and municipal communities. Since then, speakers have come to MSU from all corners of the country. It is supported by the Libra Foundation, MSU’s Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Wichita Falls Times Record News, KCCU-FM NPR Radio, the Phi Alpha Theta Speaker Series, MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, and KFDX-TV3.

Admission is free; donations are welcome. Email Associate Professor of History Whitney Snow at whitney.snow@msutexas for information.