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Sun, 11.16.1924

A first for Louisiana’s court, Israel Augustine Jr.

Israel Augustine Jr. (left)

*Israel Meyer Augustine, Jr. was born on this date in 1924. He was an African American lawyer, activist and judge. From New Orleans, he was a graduate of McDonough 35 High School; he also received a B. A. from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He obtained his law degree from Lincoln University in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1951, he was admitted to the Louisiana Bar and in 1962, he was allowed to practice before the Supreme Court.

In 1970, Israel M. Augustine, Jr. became the first African American elected as judge in Criminal District Court in Louisiana.. In 1971, he presided over the Black Panther Trial, a case that brought him national attention. A champion of the people, Augustine established several community programs such as "Roots" Home Coming Program, the First Offender and Angola Awareness. Israel Meyer Augustine Middle School in Orleans Parish is named after him. Judge Augustine died of Lou Gehrig's disease and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

He died on August 29, 1994. In addition to having a school named after him, the Orleans Criminal District Court at Tulane Avenue and S. Broad Street " near the middle school " was renamed the Israel M. Augustine Criminal Justice Center in 1996.

Reference:
Louisiana Legal Society

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