Editor, The Tuskegee News:
Macon County, the State of Alabama and the world must preserve the history of the first African American to be elected sheriff since reconstruction, Sheriff Lucius D. Amerson .
Sheriff Amerson was elected sheriff of Macon County in 1966, the year after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which removed many barriers that had kept blacks from voting.
His election made nation-wide headlines. Reporters descended on Macon County. He later received a congratulatory telegram from Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and was summoned to the White House to meet President Lyndon B. Johnson.
He was reelected four times in the rural, predominantly black county and served from 1967 to 1987, during some of the most turbulent days for race relations in the United States.
Prior to my leaving office as chairman of the Macon County Commission, the Macon County Commission approved plans to build a new county detention center and naming it in memory of the late Sheriff Amerson
However, there to was also an agreement to place a historic marker on the site of the old Macon County Jail on Elm Street, which was conveyed by a real estate sale to CVS Drugs Inc.
CVS, was to fund a memorial and construct a monument (historic marker) at that site. However, it never happened.
After almost 20 years later, I have taken it upon myself to honor our word and salute the Sheriff, who I consider a friend and mentor. For it was Sheriff Amerson who blazed the trail for persons like myself to serve in public office.
After placing several calls to contacts which I still have, we will begin to complete those efforts and coordinate efforts to construct that well overdue marker.
I will be seeking input from our County Commission, the City of Tuskegee, and the Utilities Board of Tuskegee in an effort to jointly work in unity to accomplish this mission.
I want to personally thank Anthony Amerson — who I have recently spoken with — for reminding me of the efforts that were never completed to honor his late father.
I promised Anthony on behalf of all whom benefitted from the brave dedication and public service of his father that we will pick up this project and make it reality.
We owe it to a man that dedicated a major portion of his adult life in serving and protecting the Citizens of Macon County Alabama.
•NOTE - And on a special note, I have placed a portrait of Sheriff Amerson on my office computer to remind me constantly daily that this mission will be accomplished. It will remain affixed until the marker is erected.
We shall all look forward to that marker to honor Sheriff Amerson on Elm Street. I promise you it will become reality.
Frank H. Lee
Director, Macon County
Emergency Management Agency
Chair, Macon County Commission