MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A dedication ceremony was held Thursday morning for the Russell B. Sugarmon Memorial Bridge.
Sugarmon was one of a group of African Americans who made the first serious bid for a major city office in Memphis, opening the door for future black leaders.
He died earlier this year at the age of 89.
Sugarmon became the second African-American elected to the Tennessee General Assembly after Reconstruction as a State Representative.
As a member of the NAACP, he was instrumental in using the law to fight legal battles to desegregate public transportation, schools and restaurants.
“Judge Sugarmon’s accomplishments obviously make him a Memphis icon. But in addition to all of his career accolades, it should be noted what an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather, friend and human being he was. Everything he stood for in his public life, he also demonstrated in his private life. Russell Sugarmon was a humble, kind and good man,” said State Representative G.A. Hardaway.
The dedication also took place on the anniversary of the day Sugarmon escorted the Malone twins to Gordon Elementary School as part of the movement to desegregate Memphis public schools.