Living Legend: Leon Jackson

Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 955 20th St. S., St Petersburg, honored Leon Jackson of the legendary Courageous 12 with its Black History Month Living Legends Award.

Forty-three years ago, 12 African-American police officers did a stunning thing. They sued their employer, the City of St. Petersburg, in an effort to break the barriers of segregation in the city’s police department with a challenge to the city for the right to patrol all of St. Petersburg. This group of brave men was later given the appellation of “The Courageous 12.”

Adam Baker, Nathaniel Wooten, Leon Jackson, Horace Nero, Raymond DeLoach, Primus Killen, Jerry Styles, Freddie Crawford, Johnnie Lewis, Robert Keys, Charles Holland, and James King fought for equal rights and working conditions and won the landmark lawsuit. Jackson is only one of the three surviving members of the Courageous 12.

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