History

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James B. Morris Sr. was a leader and a role model for his generation of African Americans living in Iowa. A graduate of Hampton Institute in Virginia, J.B. became one of the first African American officers during World War I through the Colored Officers Training Program at Fort Des Moines. After the war, Attorney Morris settled in Des Moines and emerged as one of the city's most influential black leaders. He was the editor and publisher of Iowa's oldest black newspaper, The Iowa Bystander, from 1922-1972. In 1925, he helped found the Negro Bar Association, now known as the National Bar Association. J.B. and his wife, Georgine, were staunch supporters of civil rights, and Georgine founded the Iowa State Conference of the NAACP in 1939. J.B. was a charter member, as well as serving as president of that organization.

A group of Des Moines community leaders established the James B. Morris Scholarship Fund in 1978 in honor of James and Georgine Morris for their contribution to law, journalism and the civil rights movement.

If you have a scholarship you would like the Morris Board of Directors to administer for you , please feel free to contact the Fund Administrator at:

James B. Morris Scholarship Fund, Inc.
P. O. Box 12145
Des Moines, IA 50312

jbmorrisscholars@gmail.com