Sugarmon, Russell B., 1929-
"Judge Russell B. Sugarmon, Jr. helped reverse the tide of racism in Tennessee during his legal and political career. A native of Memphis, Sugarmon was born on May 11, 1929...Sugarmon ran for public works commissioner in 1959 in a racially charged race. As the first African American to make a serious bid for a major city office in Memphis, Sugarmon lost when whites united in opposition to his candidacy. His experience, however, helped pave the way for future black leaders in Memphis. Sugarmon later became a founding partner in the Memphis law firm of Ratner, Sugarmon, Lucas, Willis and Caldwell. In 1964, Sugarmon won election to the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee, and two years later ran successfully for the State Senate. From 1976 to 1987, he served as a referee in Memphis Juvenile Court system. Sugarmon stepped down from that post in May 1987 when he was appointed to the General Sessions bench. He won election to the seat in 1988 and was re-elected in 1990 and again in 1998."--History Makers Web Site, retrieved April 24, 2008.
Archival Collections and Reference Resources
- Memphis civil rights photograph collection (Memphis Public Library's Memphis and Shelby County Room)
- Rosa Parks Papers (Library of Congress)