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Jeff Greenup

Jeff L. Greenup was born on March 24, 1919, on a farm in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. His family included some staunch civil rights activists, and Greenup was only thirteen when he and his father were arrested for objecting to a powerful Baton Rouge businessman when he refused to pay the agreed upon price for the delivery of produce from the Greenup farm. Greenup grew up in New Orleans where he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After spending four years, one month, twenty days, and nine hours in the army, including twenty-eight months in World War II combat in the China, Burma, and India Theater, Greenup moved to New York City where he attended Long Island University on the GI Bill of Rights and received his B.S. degree in 1948. In 1951, Greenup received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar.

After graduation, Greenup formed the law firm of Mack, McFadden and Greenup. In 1963, Greenup’s eighty-two-year-old Aunt Charlotte was arrested in Clinton, Louisiana, for protesting the treatment of African Americans, and Greenup served as one of her lawyers. Around the same time, he organized what would be known as the "United Nations Law Firm" of Greenup, Schimmel, Golar & Levister, a firm that included four partners and fourteen associates of diverse ethnic makeup. Greenup worked primarily in the area of litigation, and many of his cases were pro bono. Greenup spent six weeks during the summer of 1964 in St. Augustine, Florida, defending Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers. Over the years, he also represented the NAACP, CORE, and SNCC.

Greenup served as legal counsel to the Harlem Urban Development Corporation during its entire existence and was elected as president of the New York Branch of the NAACP, where he served six consecutive terms. He litigated several famous cases, including his representation of the family of Clifford Glover, a ten-year-old black youth killed by a New York City police officer, successfully winning a significant monetary reward from the City of New York. In 1984, Greenup would serve as one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, an organization determined to advance equality, excellence and support minorities in the legal profession. Throughout the 1980s, Greenup traveled extensively. He was selected to travel to Russia to study the Russian legal system and was sent to South Africa to ensure the legitimacy of the nation’s first democratically-held election. The NAACP awarded Greenup a Valor Award in 1991. He also received the Wiley A. Branton Award from the National Bar Association and the Ming Advocacy Award from the New York City NAACP.

Greenup passed away on March 1, 2013 at the age of 93. He was the father of two daughters, Carolann and Melanie Theresa Greenup.

Jeff Greenup was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.125

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/5/2007 |and| 4/26/2007 |and| 4/28/2007

Last Name

Greenup

Maker Category
Schools

Cornucopia School

Albert Wicker Junior High School

McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School

Long Island University

Brooklyn Law School

First Name

Jeff

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

GRE09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda, Northern California

Favorite Quote

Treat Everybody Else The Way You Want To Be Treated And Don't Worry About It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/24/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Death Date

3/1/2013

Short Description

Association branch chief executive and civil rights lawyer Jeff Greenup (1919 - 2013 ) was a former president of the New York NAACP, one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and co-founded the law firm, Greenup, Schimmel, Golar & Levister.

Employment

NAACP New York Branch

Mack, McFadden, and Greenup

Greenup, Schimmel, Golar and Levister

Favorite Color

Blue, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeff Greenup's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup talks about his paternal uncle, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup talks about his paternal uncle, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup recalls being arrested as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup remembers his release from jail

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup remembers Eddie Robinson

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jeff Greenup recalls first grade at Cornucopia School in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jeff Greenup recalls childhood holiday celebrations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup describes his parents' careers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup remembers segregation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup talks about his surname

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup recalls meeting a distant paternal relative

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup recalls his father's cooperation with neighboring white farmers, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup recalls his father's cooperation with neighboring white farmers, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup recalls his father's cooperation with neighboring white farmers, pt. 3

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup talks about his NAACP membership

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup describes his U.S. Army service

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup talks about racial discrimination in the segregated U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup remembers Mary McLeod Bethune

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup talks about his siblings' higher education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup recalls learning of his aunt's arrest for voter registration

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup remembers representing his aunt at trial

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup recalls his cousin's role in a bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup remembers riding in an all-white train car

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup describes his move to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup remembers his early years in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup talks about joining the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup remembers a civil rights case in Westchester County, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup recalls meeting A.P. Tureaud, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup describes his attempt to waive his bar examination in Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup describes his attempt to waive his bar examination in Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup recalls his decision to attend Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup remembers President Harry S. Truman's election

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup recalls living at the Harlem YMCA in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup describes the riot at Camp Stewart in Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup recalls his overseas deployment during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup remembers an attack on the white civil rights lawyers in St. Augustine, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup recalls arguing a civil rights case in Quincy, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup recalls arguing a civil rights case in Quincy, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeff Greenup's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup describes his paternal aunt, Charlotte B. Greenup

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup reads a letter from the Congress of Racial Equality in Clinton, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup reads the district attorney's response to the Congress of Racial Equality in Clinton, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup recalls learning of his aunt's trial in Clinton, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup describes a police brutality case in Nassau County, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup remembers establishing the law firm of Mack, McFadden and Greenup

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup recalls his civil rights work in St. Augustine, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jeff Greenup recalls an attempt on the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup recalls an attempt on the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup recalls conflicts with law enforcement during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup remembers watching an interview with Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup remembers working for Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup recalls the decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup describes his work at the law firm of Mack, McFadden and Greenup

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup remembers Thomas Shea's trial for the murder of Clifford Glover

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup recalls mentoring a former client, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup recalls mentoring a former client, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup talks about moving to Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup recalls a trial in White Plains, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup remembers the law firm of Greenup, Schimmel, Golar and Levister

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup recalls the search for witnesses in a robbery case

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup remembers the dismissal of a robbery case

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup talks about his political affiliations

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jeff Greenup recalls his decision not to serve as a judge

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup recalls his legal work for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup remembers Gloria Toot and Evelyn Cunningham

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup remembers his work for the Harlem Urban Development Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup talks about the Harlem Urban Development Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup talks about the gentrification of New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup recalls the development of Lenox Terrace in New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup recalls the attempted evictions at Lenox Terrace

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup describes his career trajectory in the NAACP

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup remembers his election as president of the NAACP New York Branch

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup recalls suing the City College of New York, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup recalls suing the City College of New York, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup talks about the Metropolitan Black Bar Association

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup describes the community of black lawyers in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup remembers travelling to the Soviet Union

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Jeff Greenup remembers his visit to the Soviet Union

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup recalls his first trip to South Africa

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup describes his experiences in South Africa

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup remembers receiving the William Robert Ming Advocacy Award

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Jeff Greenup talks about receiving the NAACP Men of Valor award

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Jeff Greenup describes the Wiley A. Branton Award

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Jeff Greenup describes his hopes for the next generation of lawyers

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Jeff Greenup narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Jeff Greenup narrates his photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Jeff Greenup narrates his photographs, pt. 4

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Jeff Greenup narrates his photographs, pt. 5

DASession

1$2

DATape

1$7

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Jeff Greenup remembers his release from jail
Jeff Greenup recalls an attempt on the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2
Transcript
In those days there was a black newspaper called the Pittsburgh Courier [New Pittsburgh Courier]. And I--it used to come out once a week. I used to save my pennies, and I liked to read the Pittsburgh Courier. I read it religiously so I read a lot about the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] in the Pittsburgh Courier.$$And how old were you, thirteen?$$Yeah, I was thirteen then. And so on our way to jail, my dad--we were talking about what we're gonna do. So I told my dad, I said, "There's an organization I been reading about called the NAACP. Maybe you could contact them." So as we were going in jail, there was a young black man coming out of jail. And so my dad stopped him and said, "Well son, do you know Reverend G.T. Carter?" So the young man said, "Well, I've heard of him." So my dad said, "Well that's my pastor. It's very important I get a message to him. Will you get a message to him?" So by that time the police said, "Come on, move along." So my dad said, "It's very important that you contact Reverend G.T. Carter." Said, "Mister--well actually what, what I'm gonna tell him?" "Tell him Deacon Greenup [Wallace Greenup] and his son are in jail; I need to see him." Lucky for me and my dad, that young man found Reverend G.T. Carter who was our pastor. Told him we were--gave him my daddy's message and he came to see us. So we were talking to the (unclear). Pastor Carter, he and my daddy were, daddy were discussing and agonizing over what they could do to get us out, you know. Left the wagon on the street and all that stuff. So my dad says, "Well my son was telling me about an organization called the NAA something, and I--he been reading about it and he think they may be able to help us." So Reverend Carter said, "Yes, NAACP." So my dad said, "You know anything about it?" He said, "Yeah, sure. I know Walter White when they, they meet at my church sometimes." So my dad said, "Well, where are they?" He said, "Well, they have a headquarters up in New York [New York]." So my dad sort of crestfallen, he said, "Boy, New York. I don't know anybody in New York gonna help us way down here." So Reverend Carter says, "Well I, I know Walter," Walter White was the national executive secretary, "and I'll call him." So as a result of that incident, the meeting the young man coming out of jail as we were going in, and he took my dad's message to Reverend Carter. Reverend Carter did call New York and he got Walter White and told him about our situation. And Walter White I'm told, called a lawyer named Thurgood [Thurgood Marshall], and Thurgood had lawyers around the country who would cover certain areas for him and the lawyer in Louisiana name was A.P. Tureaud. So as a result of that, they arranged for A.P. Tureaud to come get my dad and me out of jail, and he got us out of jail and he represented us. Incidentally, he was down in New Orleans [Louisiana], which is about eighty-five miles south of Baton Rouge [Louisiana]. And so we spent the night in jail. And I don't recall who took care of my dad's wagon and horses, but I do remember he told Reverend Carter he had left the horse, wagon and not long later Reverend Carter saw to it that somebody went and got the, the team. But as a result of that incident, A.P. Tureaud came and got us out of jail. That's the first and only lawyer I'd ever met, and it was as a result of that meeting and my experience with A.P. Tureaud that caused me to want to be a lawyer, and so I, I made up my mind that's what I was gonna be.$You said you and Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] crawled into the tent.$$No, we walked to the tent and, and, and in the broad daylight just before sundown so anybody who was watching would see that he was going in the tent 'cause the plan was to let whoever it was think he was in the tent when midnight came. So we walked to the tent, and he waved to folk who were out front and inclu- including Hosea Williams and other lawyers, said good night and he and I tucked in. But we only tucked, tucked in for a second, for a second. Went in and, and we didn't walk out, we crawled out of the tent all the way back to the office, and then they took him out the back of the office and took him to another location. And I stayed in the office along with a doctor, Dr. Hayling [Robert Hayling] was the dentist's name and the other members of my staff, the other four lawyers. And I think--let's see, Hosea Williams, he didn't stay; he went with Dr. King. He's one that took Dr. King wherever he took him. I don't even know where he stayed that night. And so at one, 'bout one minute after twelve [o'clock], somebody threw a stick of dynamite in the tent and blew it up. And we knew--we really became concerned then as to how that young kid knew that, and he had to hear it from somebody. And whoever he heard it from, had to be an adult and had to be--we concluded on the plan of what happened. And unfortunately the reporter said dynamite, dynamite in other tents--police, nothing happened. And I also wondered who that young kid was, where he was and I made that statement once before. I didn't know I was being covered and The New York Times picked it up and wrote it in a column. They asked me who my unsung heroes were. And I said that kid was one of them. And but I never found out who he was.$$Well you have a picture of him, though.$$That kid?$$Yes. No$$No, that picture is Dr. Hayling who's the dentist.$$The dentist's office, okay.$$Whose office we were--he allowed us to use that as our headquarters. And he had some awful type experiences also.$$So that kid saved your life as well that night.$$Oh yeah, my life and Dr. King's. We, we wondered how he knew we was gonna be sleeping in the tent. Which meant somebody had been talking out of school. I don't know how it happened, but I know the policy was that he would not sleep in the same place two nights in a row while he was there.