Port City Crusader: John LeFlore and the Non-Partisan Voters’ League in Mobile, Alabama
Kenneth A. Robinson. Mod Mobilian Press, 2013.
John LeFlore is credited with helping to prevent in Mobile the Civil Rights Era violence that had been seen in Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery. However, his biography had not been written until now.
Murphy High School history teacher Ken Robinson has penned Port City Crusader: John LeFlore and the Non-Partisan Voters’ League in Mobile, Alabama.
The book began as Robinson’s master’s thesis at Alabama State and took a year and a half to complete, which he did in 2005. It was not until Mod Mobilian Press put out a call for authors that Mr. Robinson approached editor Kevin Lee, who jumped at the chance to publish the biography.
LeFlore was born in Mobile and, while working as a postal worker, helped organize the Mobile chapter of the NAACP in the 1920s. When the NAACP was outlawed in Alabama in 1956, Leflore shifted his work to the Non-Partisan Voters’ League. He worked as a journalist for the Chicago Defender and Mobile Beacon. Leflore’s cooperative approach was at odds with the more confrontational Neighborhood Organized Workers (NOW) group in the 1960s. In 1967, his home was fire-bombed. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1974, and died in 1976. A magnet school was named in his honor, and a statue of Leflore and Joseph Langan sits in Unity Park.
Robinson’s first appearance with the work will be at Mobile’s monthly LoDa Artwalk, in front of local boutique Lunatix & Co. (662 Springhill Ave.) where he will be signing copies. Other appearances will follow. The book will be on sale at selected local outlets, through Mod Mobilian’s website and Amazon.com.
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