Civil Rights

Fredrick L. McGhee

Fredrick L. McGhee (1861-1912) was an African-American attorney, civil rights activist, and community leader. He played a significant role in advocating for the rights of African Americans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born on December 27, 1861, in Mississippi, McGhee faced racial discrimination and adversity throughout his life. He attended Rust University, a historically black college, and later studied law at the University of Iowa, becoming one of the first African Americans to graduate from the institution.

McGhee’s legal career focused on civil rights and social justice issues. He became a prominent attorney in Minnesota, where he worked to challenge racial discrimination and fought for equal rights in education, housing, and employment. He also defended African Americans who faced unjust legal charges.

One of McGhee’s notable cases involved the defense of three African-American men accused of rape in the infamous Duluth lynchings of 1920. Despite their innocence, the men were lynched by a mob. McGhee’s efforts to bring attention to this racially motivated violence and seek justice for the victims garnered national attention and led to public awareness of the incident.

Beyond his legal work, McGhee was actively involved in civil rights organizations and political activism. He was a member of the National Afro-American Council, a leading civil rights organization of the time. McGhee advocated for equal voting rights, anti-lynching legislation, and the advancement of African Americans in society.

Unfortunately, Fredrick McGhee’s life was cut short by illness, and he passed away on September 9, 1912, at the age of 50. Despite his relatively brief career, he left a lasting impact as a dedicated advocate for civil rights and a pioneering African-American attorney who fought for justice and equality.

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