Laura Mae Thompson Dixie was dubbed the ‘Mother of the Civil Rights Movement in Tallahassee, Florida.’ However, Dixie held numerous titles during her lifetime.
Dixie was born in 1925 in Chaires, Florida, an unincorporated community just east of Tallahassee. After completing school, she worked as a nurse’s aide, a position she held for over 30 years. She was always helping those who were in need, visiting the sick when needed and even taking in first-generation students who attended Florida A&M who needed housing.
She worked tirelessly as a grassroots organizer of the historic 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott. During that struggle and for decades afterward, she was one of the boycott leaders. She also helped raise funds for carpools, provided transportation for people who needed rides to work.
Dixie along with her husband housed and fed CORE organizers who facilitated CORE’s North Florida Voter Education Project. She also assisted CORE workers during the sit-ins against segregated lunch counters in downtown Tallahassee.
Over the course of a lifetime of leadership and service to others, Dixie served as vice president of the Leon County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and was the founding president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2847. Thompson died on Nov. 11, 2017 at the age of 92.