Avery Alexander

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Avery Caesar Alexander (29 June 1910 – 5 March 1999) was a Louisiana civil rights leader and politician. He graduated from Union Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained into the Baptist ministry in 1944. He was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1975 and served in that office until his death.[1]

He participated in voter registration drives in Louisiana prior to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He helped organize boycotts against businesses in New Orleans which did not hire blacks, including a successful boycott to force the monopoly utility and transit company to hire black bus drivers.

Alexander participated in several marches with Martin Luther King, Jr., and in sit-ins to integrate lunch counters. In a well-publicized and videotaped incident in the basement cafeteria at City Hall in 1963, he was arrested and dragged upstairs by the heels.[2] In a similar incident in 1993, police used a chokehold to subdue Alexander when he participated in a protest against David Duke at a Liberty Monument ceremony in New Orleans after Alexander repeatedly crossed police lines separating protesters and celebrants.


In 1999 McDonogh #39 School on Saint Roch Avenue was renamed after him. Charity Hospital's official name is Avery C. Alexander Memorial Hospital. Pontchartrain Expressway has also been renamed in his honor.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Notable African Americans from Louisiana". New Orleans Public Library. Archived from the original on 9 January 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-22. 
  2. ^ "A House Divided Teaching Guide". Southern Institute for Education and Research. Retrieved 2006-01-22. 
  3. ^ Google Street View
  4. ^ Google Street View

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