L. Alex Wilson
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L. Alex Wilson

L. Alex Wilson (1909-1960) was an African-American journalist during the civil rights movement.

Lucious Alexander Wilson[1] was the editor and general manager of the Tri-State Defender, an African-American newspaper published in Memphis, Tennessee. The Tri-State was then part of the influential Chicago Defender chain.[2] In 1955, Wilson led the Defenders coverage of Emmett Till lynching, a catalyst for the civil rights movement.[2] Wilson gained national attention when television images of him being beaten by a White mob were broadcast during his coverage of the Little Rock Nine finally entering Little Rock Central High School September 23, 1957. Wilson, a highly visible presence at 6'3", followed the black students to the school building until members of the racist mob started to attack him. He decided to walk, not run, away. After having been confronted by members of the KKK when he was younger and fleeing, he decided he would never run from racism ever again. A member of the mob hopped on his back and started choking him, and another one hit him in the head with a brick. One of the people he hired at the Tri-State Defender was Dorothy Butler Gilliam.[3] After the events in Little Rock Wilson became editor of The Chicago Defender, but he died young, in 1960 (at the age of 51), possibly from the effects of the beatings he endured.[4]


  1. ^ DeCosta-Willis, Miriam (ed.). "Wilson, Lucious Alexander". Notable Black Memphians. Cambria Press. pp. 349-51. ISBN 9781621968634.
  2. ^ a b Klibanoff, Hank (2000). "L. Alex Wilson: A Reporter Who Refused to Run". Media Studies (Spring/Summer ed.). Freedom Institute. 14 (2). Retrieved .
  3. ^ DeCosta-Willis, Miriam (ed.). "Gilliam, Dorothy Butler". Notable Black Memphians. Cambria Press. pp. 136-37. ISBN 9781621968634.
  4. ^ "We Are Newspapermen". Retrieved 2018.

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