Although Mobile isn’t known for its civil rights protests, our city does have its share of pioneers who made a difference for its citizens of color. John LeFlore was a civil rights pioneer who organized the African American community of Mobile to speak out for equal rights for its black citizens. A historic marker stands in front of the building that housed the Non-Partisan Voter’s League, where LeFlore held meetings, wrote letters, and organized the community. A statue of John LeFlore shaking hands with then-mayor Joe Langham stands in the triangle at the intersection of Broad, St. Anthony, and Spring Hill, across from the post office.
The marker from the Dora Finley African American History Trail stands in front of the 3-story building at 558 St Francis, on the corner of Warren Street, across from the Delta Bike Project. The building is a terra cotta red color now, but once was a weatherbeaten white grey color, with hand-painted list of country foods in the window from the menu of a long-closed restaurant called Nessa’s. The menu included gumbo, smothered pork chops, and ox tail soup. One can imagine members of the Non-Partisan Voter’s League enjoying a nice lunch downstairs before organizing a campaign event or drafting a letter to the editor of the paper. The structure is being converted into condos, but the historic marker will continue to mark the building as a civil rights site for future visitors.