May 7th in African American History – George W. Lee

George W. LeeMay 7, 1955 George W. Lee, minister, entrepreneur and civil rights activist, was assassinated.

Lee was born in 1904 in Edwards, Mississippi and in the early 1930’s accepted a call to preach in Belzoni, Mississippi. Over time, Lee led four churches, opened a grocery store, and set up a printing business. In 1953, he co-founded the Belzoni branch of the NAACP. Lee was also Vice President of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, an organization that promoted self-help, business, and voting rights.

Less than a month after delivering a speech at the organization’s annual meeting, Lee was shot and killed by an unidentified assailant. No charges were ever brought against anyone for the murder.


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