Congressman Cohen Hails House Passage of Bill to Name Post Office After Russell B. Sugarmon
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) applauded House passage today of a bill he introduced that designates the U.S. Postal Service facility at 1320 Autumn Avenue as the “Judge Russell B. Sugarmon Post Office Building.” He made the following statement:
“No one deserves this honor more than Judge Sugarmon, a crusader for Civil Rights and a respected attorney and jurist. I look forward to the Senate’s passage of the bill.”
Judge Sugarmon, aged 89, was the first African-American to run for a major city office in 1959 and the second African-American elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 1966. Before becoming a judge in 1987, he practiced with Memphis’ and the South’s first integrated law firm – Ratner, Sugarmon, Lucas, Willis and Caldwell – after attending Morehouse College and Rutgers University and receiving a law degree from Harvard University.
Working alongside notable Memphis pioneers and leaders in the fight for racial justice and equality, Judge Sugarmon was instrumental in using the courts to desegregate public transportation, restaurants and public facilities and the desegregation of Memphis public schools.