- T. J. Jemison
Theodore Judson Jemison (b. 1918), better known as T.J. Jemison, was President of the National Baptist Convention from 1982 to 1994. He led a short and partially successful mass
boycottof the bus service in Baton Rouge, Louisianain 1953, a precursor to the Montgomery Bus Boycottlaunched two years later. He was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conferencein 1957.
Jemison came from a family of prominent ministers; he was born in
Selma, Alabama, where his father, the Rev. David V. Jemison, pastored the Tabernacle Baptist Church. At the time he moved to Baton Rouge to lead Mt. Zion First Baptist Church in 1949 [ [http://www.ebr.lib.la.us/reference/ourafamlegacy/oaal_peopleandplaces/churches/MtZionBaptist.htm Mt. Zion First Baptist Church History ] ] , his father was serving as President of the National Baptist Convention.
Before his arrival in Baton Rouge Rev. Jemison had degrees from
Alabama State Universityand Virginia Union University, and he had done graduate work at New York University. He began his service as a minister in Baton Rouge in 1949, concerned chiefly with internal church matters, such as the construction of a new church building.
Baton Rouge bus boycott
A boycott of the Baton Rouge bus system by black citizens in 1953 was forerunner of the more famous
Montgomery Bus Boycottof 1955-1956. Like many southern cities in the 1950s, Baton Rouge buses were segregated; black riders had to sit at the back of the bus or stand even if seats at the front were empty.
Jemison was struck by the sight of "buses heading into south Baton Rouge, filled with people standing behind rows of empty seats" [http://www.bestofneworleans.com/dispatch/2003-06-17/news_feat.html Welcome to the Best of New Orleans! News Feature 06 17 03 ] ] . Those
African-Americanpassengers who rode the bus—and who made up 80% of the passengers on the system—were likewise fed up with standing while "white" seats remained empty, particularly after the company had raised fares from ten to fifteen cents in January, 1953.
Rev. Jemison took up the issue with the Baton Rouge City Council, going before it on
February 11, 1953to denounce the fare increase and ask for the end of the practice of reserving seats for whites. The City Council met that demand, without abolishing segregation "per se", by passing an ordinance that allowed black passengers to board the bus from the back, taking any empty seats available, while white passengers boarded from the front. The bus companies, however, largely ignored the ordinance.
When bus drivers abused black passengers seeking to enforce the ordinance, Rev. Jemison tested the law on
June 13, 1953by sitting in a front seat of a bus. The next day the bus company suspended two bus drivers for not complying with the ordinance. The drivers' union responded by striking for four days. That strike ended on June 18, 1953when LouisianaAttorney General Fred LeBlancdeclared the ordinance unconstitutional on the ground that it violated the state's segregation laws.
In response, that same day blacks formed the United Defense League (UDL). Led by Jemison and Raymond Scott, the UDL was formed to organize a bus boycott in Baton Rouge and to bring suit against the City to desegregate the buses. The organization set up a free-ride network to compensate for the lack of public transit, a system that the organizers of the Montgomery bus boycott learned from when undertaking their year-long boycott two years later. As Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.wrote, Jemison's "painstaking description of the Baton Rouge experience proved invaluable" .
The great majority of bus riders were black, and most of them refused to ride the buses. By the third day, the buses were almost entirely empty. A volunteer 'free ride' system was co-ordinated by the churches, and many others chose to walk to work. The boycott lasted only a week, as Rev. Jemison called off the boycott on
June 23, 1953after negotiations between black leaders and the city council. The following day the city council passed an ordinance under which the first-come, first-served, seating system of back to front and front to back was reinstated while setting aside the first two seats on any bus for white passengers and the back bench for black passengers and allowing anyone to sit on any of the rows in the middle. To comply with state segregation laws, blacks and white were prohibited from sitting next to each other, the two front sideways seats were absolutely reserved for whites, and the wide rear seat at the back of the bus was reserved for blacks. [ [http://www.crmvet.org/tim/timhis53.htm#1953brbb Baton Rouge Bus Boycott] ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans] . While a number of boycotters wanted to attack segregation directly, the majority approved the compromise.
Others dispute Jemison's role in the boycott. Willis Reed, the publisher of the Baton Rouge Post, and a political activist within the black community in 1953, has stated that other organizations began organizing against segregation on the city's buses before Jemison took up the issue. Jemison himself acknowledges that the boycott was not an all-out assault on segregation, but only an effort to obtain fairer treatment for African-American bus riders. Yet the boycott established the model for Montgomery: a nonviolent mass movement, organized through the black church that confronted the white establishment both in courts and in the economic sphere.
Presidency of the National Baptist Convention
Jemison's finest achievement of his tenure as President of the National Baptist Convention was the construction of the Baptist World Center in
Nashville, Tennessee, which acts as a Headquarters for the Convention. He was also more prepared to speak out on issues of the day than his predecessor Joseph H. Jacksonhad been, notably opposing the Gulf Warand the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomasto the United States Supreme Court. Towards the end of his term as President, Jemison faced difficulties caused by his support of Mike Tysonin his rape case [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE5D8123BF935A25750C0A964958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all Baptist President's Support for Tyson Is Assailed Inside and Outside Church - New York Times ] ] .
Fabrication of Documents and Controversy Regarding Transition of NBC Leadership
Approaching the end of his tenure as president of the National Baptist Convention (as a result of term limits), Jemison selected Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson as his successor. Richardson was defeated by Dr. Henry Lyons at the 1994 convention. Unhappy with this result, Jemison concocted evidence and filed a lawsuit in an effort to overturn the election result. Eventually, the election of Dr. Lyons was upheld, and Jemison individually as well as a co-plaintiff and their counsel to pay $150,000 in punitive damages and, in a later order, required them to pay the other side's attorney fees. The court specifically found that Jemison had concocted evidence to justify the suit. [ [http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:3UUPI6nojjAJ:www.dcappeals.gov/dccourts/appeals/pdf/95CV972X.PDF+Jemison+%24150,000+in+punitive+damages&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&client=firefox-a. 403 Forbidden ] ]
Jemison is a member of
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans [ [http://www.rso.cornell.edu/alpha/prominent/religious.html Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc ] ] .
* [http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/exhibits/boycott/index.html Commemorative history of the Baton Rouge bus boycott]
* [http://www.geocities.com/marcssternberg/ 1953-2003 Baton Rouge bus boycott 50th Anniversary]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE5D8123BF935A25750C0A964958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all Baptist President's Support for Tyson Is Assailed Inside and Outside Church]
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Jemison — may refer to:People with the surname Jemison: * Eddie Jemison, US film actor * Mae Jemison (born 1956), the first African American woman to travel to space * Mary Jemison (1743–1833), American frontierswoman * T. J. Jemison (born 1918), president … Wikipedia
Jemison — ist der Name von Jemison (Alabama), ein Ort im Chilton County, Alabama Eddie Jemison, US amerikanischer Schauspieler und Sänger Mae Carol Jemison (* 1956), US amerikanische Astronautin Siehe auch: Jamison … Deutsch Wikipedia
Jemison (Alabama) — Jemison Ciudad de los Estados Unidos … Wikipedia Español
Jemison — Jemison, AL U.S. town in Alabama Population (2000): 2248 Housing Units (2000): 916 Land area (2000): 8.118370 sq. miles (21.026482 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.025324 sq. miles (0.065590 sq. km) Total area (2000): 8.143694 sq. miles (21.092072 sq … StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places
Jemison, AL — U.S. town in Alabama Population (2000): 2248 Housing Units (2000): 916 Land area (2000): 8.118370 sq. miles (21.026482 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.025324 sq. miles (0.065590 sq. km) Total area (2000): 8.143694 sq. miles (21.092072 sq. km) FIPS… … StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places
Jemison, Mae — ▪ American physician and astronaut in full Mae Carol Jemison born Oct. 17, 1956, Decatur, Ala., U.S. American physician and the first African American woman to become an astronaut. In 1992 she spent more than a week orbiting Earth in the… … Universalium
Jemison, Alabama — Infobox Settlement official name = Jemison, Alabama settlement type = Town imagesize = image caption = image imagesize = image caption = image mapsize = 250px map caption = Location in Chilton County and the state of Alabama mapsize1 = map… … Wikipedia
Jemison — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Jemison peut faire référence à : Personnes : Eddie Jemison, un acteur américain, Mae C. Jemison (1956 ), la première femme afro américaine à… … Wikipédia en Français
Jemison, Mary — ▪ American frontierswoman born 1743, onboard a ship en route from Ireland to America died Sept. 19, 1833, Buffalo Creek Reservation, near Buffalo, N.Y., U.S. captive of Native American Indians, whose published life story became one of the… … Universalium
Jemison — Original name in latin Jemison Name in other language State code US Continent/City America/Chicago longitude 32.95985 latitude 86.74665 altitude 219 Population 2585 Date 2011 05 14 … Cities with a population over 1000 database
Jemison, Mae (Carol) — born Oct. 17, 1956, Decatur, Ala., U.S. U.S. physician and astronaut. She received an M.D. from Cornell University and then served in the Peace Corps in Africa. In 1988 she was accepted to NASA s astronaut program and became the first black… … Universalium