Leroy Jefferson Jr., brother of Anne Moody, dies at 70

Leroy Jefferson Jr., brother of Anne Moody, dies at 70

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By Roscoe Barnes III, PhD

Chairman, Anne Moody History Project

Copyright (c) 2021


Leroy Jefferson Jr.

I was saddened to learn recently that Leroy Jefferson Jr., the brother of Anne Moody, had passed. He died Tuesday, March
28, 2023
, in his home in Horn Lake, Miss. He was 70.

His full obituary can be viewed here.

I learned of this sad news on Saturday, April 8, 2023,
during a visit to Vine’s Brothers restaurant in Centreville. I was walking
across the parking lot when Fred Moody Jr. called for me. He was sitting in his
car, all dressed up.

“I’m just returning from my brother’s funeral,” he said. “You
know, he was the one who couldn’t talk. He used to live in our house over

Leroy had lived for many years in Anne’s childhood home,
the one she said was built by her step-father. Leroy left the area a few years
ago following a flood that caused damage to the house. According to his family,
he relocated to Memphis.

Anne mentioned him in her 1985 interview with Debra
Spencer of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Anne said that
she had written a book that was based on Leroy’s life. Here’s what she said:

The next one is “Who Needs a
Mouth?” It’s a book that I’ve written, but it will take illustration. A friend
of mine, who’s an illustrator in New York, is going to illustrate it. “Who
Needs a Mouth?” Is based upon the fact that I have a brother in Mississippi; he
can’t talk. When he was a young child, say 7 to 9 years old, my mother sent him
to Philadelphia to relatives there. He fell off a table, the kitchen table, and
bumped his head and something had happened, and he can’t talk.

So my mother sent him to
Philadelphia to live with the relatives there from my stepfather. They are very
refined type of people, never any cursing or anything, very quiet. So he had
lived with them for a couple of years. The wife was a nurse, and she had taken
him all over everywhere for tests trying to determine whether he could speak,
ultimately talk and what the problem was.

Finally she brought him back to
Mississippi ….

I had the pleasure of meeting Leroy in September 2017,
when I stopped by his home and personally invited him to attend the Anne Moody
Day celebration. He smiled and looked at the flyer I’d given him. He nodded and
thanked me for the invitation.

Looking back, I wish I could have spent more time getting
to know him. May he rest in peace.

 #CivilRights #ComingOfAgeinMississippi #BlackHistory


Want to know MORE
about Anne Moody?

Visit here to see the timeline of

important events
in her life history!


For more information:

See the Anne Moody page here.
Questions about the Anne Moody History Project may be directed to Roscoe
Barnes III, Ph.D. via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com.
For updates on Anne Moody history and the on-going work of this community
service project, simply follow this blog or follow AMHP on Twitter
(@AnneMoodyHP). #ComingOfAgeinMississipp

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