W. W. Law
|W. W. Law|
January 1, 1923|
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||July 29, 2002
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
|Movement||African-American Civil Rights Movement|
Westley Wallace Law (January 1, 1923 – July 29, 2002) was a civil rights leader from Savannah, Georgia. He was president of the Savannah chapter of the NAACP, where he led his community and made great strides in desegregation through nonviolent resistance from 1950 to 1976. After his time with the NAACP W. W. Law spent much of the rest of his life advocating for African-American history and culture in Savannah. To this end he established the Savannah-Yamacraw Branch of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, the King-Tisdell Cottage Museum, the Beach Institute of African American Culture, and the Negro Heritage Trail Tour.
W. W. Law was the only son and eldest of three children born to Geneva Wallace and Westley Law. He began working at the age of ten to help his recently widowed mother while also attending school. In high school, Law joined the NAACP Youth Council and later served as the council's president while in college at Georgia State College. His college career was interrupted when he was drafted into military service in World War II. W. W. Law returned from the war and, with the help of the GI Bill, returned to college where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology.
After graduation Law worked as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for more than forty years. His job with the Postal Service was endangered, however, when he was fired for his civil rights activism. President John F. Kennedy and the NAACP stepped in quickly upon hearing of Law's firing and he was reinstated in his job. Mr. Law retired from the Postal Service in 1990. Westley Wallace Law died on July 29, 2002 at his home in Savannah,Georgia.
Great Life Quote Orator and Teacher of Common Sense Wisdom
As a Philosopher, Revered Civil Rights Leader, Inspirational Icon, Pre-eminent Historian, and 26 year President of NAACP in Savannah, Georgia, W. W. Law could mesmerize you in a one-on-one tale, or discussion on life and the history of Savannah, Georgia. His unassuming, simple, and relaxed personality would develop into an educational lesson of historical significance through short common sense explanations, and quotable memories of purpose. Once met, and talked to, his philosophical presence and meaning would stay with you for the rest of your life.
One of his "Great Life Quotes" was: “We stand here as a result of a composite contribution.”
"As he modestly stated to me personally:
'I was not a leader, but there were the events of my life that I was forced to confront, and it was those burdens forced upon me that led me into involvement; others then chose to label my recognition of accomplishment as inspiration.'" (W. W. Law to George A. Sgouros/Portrait Photographer - 1997, Savannah, GA)
- New Georgia Encyclopedia W. W. Law
- The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum
- George A. Sgouros/Portrait Photographer (W. W. Law - 1997) with Fine Art Portrait Photographer & Chronicler Maria von Matthiessen