Rev. William Jernigan with members of the Baptist Young People’s Union (BYPU) June 26, 1943 at an unknown location en route to their annual convention.
Jernigan was a long time civil rights leader in Washington, D.C. and a prominent supporter of the short-lived, but influential National Negro Congress in the city.
Jernigan and his father, both pastored at the Mt Carmel Baptist Church. The elder Jernigan was also leader in the National Race Congress, a civil rights organization active early in the 20th Century.
As part of the National Negro Congress, Jernigan helped bridge the gap between more conservative black organizations like the NAACP and the Elks to form a powerful coalition against police brutality in the city from 1938-41.
Jernagin enlisted young people from the BYPU as part of his “shock troops” in civil rights crusades in the city.
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The photographer is unknown. The back of the image is marked “Certified by the Photo Finishing Institute,” “June 26, 1941.”