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Joseph Henry Beasley

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Information about Joseph Henry Beasley

Profile image of Joseph Henry Beasley

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Deacon
Police Superintendent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pig Feet, Ears, Chicken Feet, Chitterlings
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Cruises
Favorite Quote:
The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow.

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1936
Birth Location:
Inman, Georgia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Deacon
Police Superintendent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pig Feet, Ears, Chicken Feet, Chitterlings
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Cruises
Favorite Quote:
The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow.

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1936
Birth Location:
Inman
See how Joseph Henry Beasley is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Human rights activist Joseph Henry Beasley was born to sharecroppers on a rural plantation in Inman, Georgia, on December 27, 1936. Beasley received his primary education in a segregated one room school house before moving with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he excelled in the local public schools. It was during this phase of his life that Beasley began to set high expectations and committed himself to a life of service; he ultimately received his B.S. degree in criminal justice from Park College and attended graduate school at Clark Atlanta University.

Beasley’s career began in the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired as a police superintendent after twenty-one years of service. Beasley joined Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) in 1976 as a member of the Board of Directors of its Kansas City affiliate, and assumed the position of Executive Director of that chapter in 1978. Three years later, Beasley moved to Atlanta where he was named Chapter Coordinator, and in 1995 was named Southern Regional Director.

Under the leadership of the Reverend Cameron M. Alexander, Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church North, Beasley successfully tackled issues of equal justice, eradication of poverty, and economic development around the globe. Beasley worked with the African National Congress to register voters for the 1994 election that swept Nelson Mandela into power; served as a monitor in Haiti during that nation’s second democratically held election in 1995; and made a high impact visit to Zambia after its contested 2002 presidential election. Closer to home, Beasley served as the Georgia Deputy Director for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns, and also became engaged in the challenge of redistricting Georgia’s congressional boundaries to increase African American representation in the United States Congress.

Beasley continued to serve as the Southern Regional Director of the National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and as the president of African Ascension, an organization he formed to develop economic and political ties throughout Africa and the African Diaspora. Beasley served as a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City; Afronet in Lusaka, Zambia; Afrobras in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Christ Institute in Atlanta; and is Chairman of both the Benedita de Silva International Foundation, and the Asian American Center, both in Atlanta, Georgia. The library at Zumbi dos Palmares College in Sao Paulo, Brazil is named in Beasley’s honor.

The bulk of Beasley’s later work focused on the unification of African descendants for economic, political, social, and cultural empowerment. Beasley received dozens of awards and was featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angles Times, and numerous other newspapers, periodicals and magazines, as well as on CNN and other major American television networks.

In addition to his many other blessings, Beasley married and had three children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Beasley viewed his life and his numerous accomplishments as a testament to the fruits of spiritual growth, vision and commitment.

See how Joseph Henry Beasley is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Henry Beasley's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Henry Beasley lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about his mother's upbringing and education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his father, Rozie Beasley
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about how his parents met and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Henry Beasley recalls his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Henry Beasley recounts how the story of the Haitian Revolution inspired him as a child farm laborer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Fayette County, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about his education at New Hope Elementary School in Fayette County, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Henry Beasley reflects upon racialized codes of conduct in the segregated South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about racial discrimination in the media and the lasting effects of slavery
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about the murder of Emmett Till and U.S. embargoes on Haiti
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about moving to Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his experience at Robert A. Taft High School in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about applying for college and joining the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his service in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about advancing in the U.S. Air Force to become a police superintendent
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about the Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy's assassination, and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his work to expand opportunities for African Americans in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Henry Beasley recalls being in Atlanta, Georgia after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about the leadership of the Civil Rights Movement after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about embracing his African heritage after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Henry Beasley reflects upon his Pan-African philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about how he came to work for HistoryMaker Jesse L. Jackson at Operation PUSH
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes working as the director of Operation PUSH in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about the relationship between HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes working as the director of Operation PUSH in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Henry Beasley recounts Rainbow/PUSH's legal campaigns against the Coca-Cola Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes Rainbow/PUSH's lawsuits against the Coca-Cola Corporation in the United States and in Africa
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about suing the Boy Scouts of America in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his work to protect African American voting rights in Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes the efforts of HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and civil rights organizations to combat police brutality
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes working with the Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia and with Brazilian Senator Benedita da Silva
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about working to combat racial discrimination
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes how he responds to threats
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about reparations for slavery
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his charitable work with the Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Henry Beasley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about what he would do differently
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Henry Beasley reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Henry Beasley talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph Henry Beasley narrates his photographs