#TJFBHM18: Reuben V. Anderson, African-American Civil Rights Lawyer and Tougaloo College Alum

Reuben V. Anderson, an African-American civil rights lawyer, served as the first black Supreme Court Justice in Mississippi from 1985 to 1991. He was born in Jackson, Mississippi and attended Tougaloo College for undergrad, where he obtained his B.A. degree.

When Anderson decided he wanted to attend law school, he briefly enrolled in Southern University’s Law School before going to University of Mississippi Law School, where he would become the first black graduate.

Anderson has achieved a lot throughout his career. One of his most notable efforts is his work with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on major cases like desegregation and voter rights matters.

Other accomplishments include being appointed as a municipal judge for the city of Jackson in 1976, then being promoted to circuit judge shortly after in 1981. He was the first African-American President of the Mississippi Bar in 1997-1998, and the first African-American President of the Mississippi Economic Council, State Chamber of Commerce.

In 2009, Anderson was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame and went on to become Director of AT&T and Director of the Kroger Company. Tougaloo College named their pre-law program, the Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Society, after him.

Reuben V. Anderson is an example of the goals we can accomplish with hard work and perseverance.