Document Type


Date of Award



College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS)

Degree Name

MA in Psychology

First Advisor

Professor Merline Pit


Lee Hayward (Haywood) Simpson, Jr., preacher and civil rights activist, spent much of his adult life fighting against the system of segregation in this country. He devoted most of his efforts toward integrating African Americans into the mainstream of American life and improving race relations in Jim Crow Houston. As head of one of the most powerful black groups in Houston, The Baptist Ministers Association, Simpson became a leader, an organizer, mobilizer and social reformer for blacks in the city. Yet, very little research has been conducted on his life. Utilizing a descriptive, analytical approach, this thesis examines the life of Lee Hayward Simpson from 1920 - 1967. The study focuses on how Simpson used his position as a minister to negotiate between the white and black communities and his role in the local branch of the NAACP. This thesis also provides insight on how Simpson's influence in local politics, his run for public office in 1946 and his involvement in the movement to end segregation in the city led to his power