First White President of NAACP Chapter at HBCU Found Dead

Michael Teasley is remembered for his fervor and passion for voter registration. 

Posted: 08/13/2012 03:45 PM EDT

Forty-year-old Michael Teasley, a student at Jackson State University who became the first white person to head an NAACP chapter at an HBCU in 2010, was found dead in his apartment last week. The Clarion-Ledger reports:

“Teasley, 40, who grew up in rural Rankin County, was elected president of the JSU chapter of the NAACP in late 2010. He was the first white person to hold that position among historically black colleges and universities. Friends said sometimes he endured scrutiny for that reason, but that he was never known to bow to pressure from anyone. He stood for what he believed.

"His family, some of them, were not necessarily fans of his going to JSU or joining the NAACP or becoming the president,"[ State NAACP Chairman Derrick] Johnson said. "But he did it anyway. He was always willing to help, always willing to support the organization, and really was enthusiastic about being a student at JSU and getting a second chance."

Marcus Chaney, JSU's associate vice president for the Division of Student Life, said he was looking forward to working with Teasley on one of his passions this fall: registering voters.”

Teasley is believed to have died from natural causes.


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(Photo: Courtesy of Jackson State University)