In Memoriam

Margaret Bush Wilson (1919-2009)

Margaret Bush Wilson, who served for nine terms as chair of the NAACP, has died in St. Louis at the age of 90.

Wilson was a graduate of Talladega College in Alabama and the Lincoln University law school. She was the second black woman in Missouri to pass the bar examination. As a young lawyer she was one of the lead attorneys in the case Shelley v. Kramer, which made it all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1948 the Court ruled that restrictive covenants in real estate deeds were unconstitutional.

The St. Louis campus of the University of Missouri awards the Margaret Bush Wilson Scholarship to incoming freshmen who have completed its pre-college bridge program and who plan to major in either mathematics or science. More than 100 students have received the scholarship over the past five years and 29 entering freshmen have earned the scholarship this year.

Ezekiel W. Bryant (1931-2009)

Ezekiel Bryant, a longtime educator and the first African American to be appointed president of a campus in the Florida Community College system, died from cancer at a hospice center in Florida. He was 78 years old.

A native of Jacksonville, Bryant worked his way through college working as a cook, waiter, and painter. He earned a two-year associate’s degree from Edward Waters College and a bachelor’s degree from what is now Bethune-Cookman University. He went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Boston University and an educational doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. He taught for many years in the public school system in Duval County, Florida. In 1974 he was named provost/president of the Florida Community College at Jacksonville North Campus. He served in that position for more than two decades.