Ex-journalist James Leeson, who wrote about race relations and education, dead at 79 in Tenn.By AP
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Race relations journalist Leeson dies in Tenn.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — James Turner Leeson Jr., a Nashville journalist who wrote about race relations and education, has died. He was 79.
Crawford Mortuary and Funeral Home confirmed that Leeson died Monday at his home.
In 1951, Leeson made an audiotape of the Mississippi execution of Willie McGee, a black man convicted of raping a white woman.
Years later, former Vanderbilt student Alex Heard used the tape as reference for a book, “The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex and Secrets in the Jim Crow South.” It is to be published by Harper next week.
Heard said Leeson committed suicide.
Leeson worked for The Associated Press, the Southern Education Reporting Service and the Race Relations Reporter. He also was the consulting journalist for Vanderbilt University student communications.
Tags: Journalism, Journalists, Nashville, North America, Obituaries, Race And Ethnicity, Tennessee, United States