Benjamin Turner was an entrepreneur, business executive, civic leader, and legislator. Born into slavery, Turner became the first African American Representative from Alabama elected to the U.S. Congress. He founded the first school in Selma for the education of African American children and was a political moderate and proponent of reconciliation. Turner took a stance regarding the injustices of slavery and advocated for desegregated schools and reparations to former slaves.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

Photos courtesy of: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Library of Congress