The Book

A More Noble Cause: A.P. Tureaud and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Louisiana

By Rachel L. Emanuel and Alexander P. Tureaud, Jr.
LSU PRESS ISBN-13:  978-0-8071-3793-2 (352 pages)
Published April 2011

Readers’ Guide

Discussion questions for “A More Noble Cause”

Throughout the decades-long legal battle to end segregation, discrimination and disfranchisement, attorney Alexander Pierre Tureaud was one of the most influential figures in Louisiana’s courts. A More Noble Cause is both the powerful story of one man’s lifelong battle for racial justice and the very personal biography of a black professional and his family in Jim Crow–era Louisiana.

During his lengthy and influential career, there were times when A.P. Tureaud was the only regularly practicing black attorney in Louisiana. Based in New Orleans, the civil rights pioneer fought successfully to obtain equal pay for Louisiana’s black teachers, to desegregate public accommodations, schools and buses, and for voting rights of qualified black residents. Tureaud’s work, along with that of dozens of other African-American lawyers, formed part of a larger legal battle that eventually overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized racial segregation.

This intimate account, the first full-length study of Tureaud, presents the culmination of more than twenty years of research into the attorney’s astounding legal and civil rights career as well as his community work. Tureaud worked tirelessly within the state and for all those without equal rights. He was an active organizer of civic and voting leagues, a leader in the NAACP, a national advocate of the Knights of Peter Claver – a fraternal order of black Catholics – and a respected political power broker and social force as a Democrat and member of the Autocrat Club and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

An engrossing story of a key legal, political and community figure during a tumultuous time in American history, A More Noble Cause provides insight into Tureaud’s public struggles and personal triumphs, offering readers a truly candid account of a remarkable champion of racial equality.

The book is available at major booksellers, local bookstores and online.