Breaking Boundaries: Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed's Unveils Her Journey of Resilience and Advocacy

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Christopher Lahr, M.D.
January 24, 2024

Photo: Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed, Mississippi Advocate Fighting For Black Mississippians

 In the heart of Mississippi, where state and county laws once limited African American voting and contract rights, Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed, PhD, MS, MBA, emerged as a beacon of resilience and advocacy, transcending the challenges imposed by historical injustices.

A Legacy Rooted in Resilience and Determination

Dr. Turnipseed is not just a name but a testament to resilience, determination, and the indomitable spirit of overcoming the adversities of her ancestors. Born into a lineage deeply rooted in Mississippi’s history, Dr. Turnipseed’s grandparents navigated the treacherous waters of racial discrimination yet managed to own and operate farm businesses in Winston and Choctaw counties. Their story is one of perseverance, walking on eggshells to avoid offense, and treading carefully amidst systemic barriers.

All four of Dr. Turnipseed’s grandparents and both parents were born in Mississippi’s Winston and Choctaw counties during an era when the appearance of too much success would get African Americans lynched by racist European Americans who could not compete fairly. Despite these formidable barriers, her grandparents and parents defied the odds, by raising cotton, cattle, and other agricultural products.

During Dr. Turnipseed’s parents’ era, only 4.3% of blacks were registered to vote in Mississippi in 1955. This tumultuous time witnessed Fannie Lou Hamer’s courageous efforts in Sunflower County to increase African American voter registration, despite facing severe beatings and constant threats of lynchings. The stark contrast from the post-Civil War era, where66.9% of blacks were registered, illustrates the arduous battle for equal voting rights, throughout the South

Dr. Turnipseed’s familial backdrop includes the horrifying incident involving Emmett Till, just 150 miles away from her parent’s home. The gruesome photographs published in 1955, shortly before her parents moved to San Francisco as part of the “Great Migration,” exemplify the urgent need for change and safety for the coming generation. However, the legacy of trailblazers like Fannie Lou Hamer, who fought tirelessly for voter registration, and the sacrifice made by the many who were lynched in Mississippi resonate deeply with Dr. Turnipseed’s journey.

A Commitment to Change

Dr Turnipseed’s parents’ relocation  West to San Francisco positioned them as pioneers in the Great Migration, a movement that typically went North, and saw six million African Americans leave the South between 1910 and 1970. By choosing to settle in a city where only 5.6% of the population was African American, they discovered that discrimination persisted, but certainly not as bad as in Mississippi. Even baseball star Willie Mays, a San Francisco Giants icon, faced discrimination in 1957, when attempting to purchase his home. But it gave the family, particularly Dr. Turnipseed access to more opportunities to become what she became, a “first generation” college student who has travelled extensively around the world. Dr Turnipseed, in honor of her ancestors, who paid the ultimate price, gained five higher education degrees, an A.A. in English; a BA in Radio & Television Communications; MS in Telecommunications; MBA in International Marketing Management; and a PhD in history/with an emphasis in Historical Preservation … all in honor and tribute to “grandmama’nem.”

Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed’s story is not just a reflection of the past but a beacon for the future. Her journey, rooted in the struggles and triumphs of her ancestors, fuels her commitment to change, progress, and equality for all. Her life mirrors a journey of resilience, determination, and a relentless commitment to justice, as modeled by her fore parents. As she embarks on future political campaigns, and social movements she carries with her the legacy of those who fought against oppression and made the necessary moves to access better opportunities for future growth and development. Join Dr. Turnipseed as she leads the charge for the International CottonPickers Unite Movement; and as she continues the fight for equity, justice, and a future where everyone’s story is acknowledged and celebrated, especially in the State of Mississippi.

For more information and to support the Movement, ;;; or email her at

Also, check out her website at