Fighting for Teacher Pay: One Pathway to Quality Education

Written by: Maria Hernandez

In 1938 colored teachers banded together in New Orleans to send a petition to the school board demanding equal pay for both black and white teachers, but it was ignored.

In 1939 they sent for Thurgood Marshall. At his recommendation they formed the New Orleans Citizens Committee for Equalizing Educational Opportunities.

On June 14, 1941 after the community and teachers were organized, A.P. Tureaud filed a lawsuit that was supported by the community. The plaintiff was a black teacher named Joseph Mckelpin

In 1948 the Louisiana legislature passed a law of minimum salary schedule for public school teachers with no disparity between black and white teachers' pay.

As a result of the community and teachers working together, a series of lawsuits challenged Jim Crow in the local school system throughout the 1950's and 1960's. Those were the steps taken in New Orleans leading up to and following Brown vs. the Board of Education. Once you band people together, they can't be stopped.