Willie Effie Thomas

 Willie Thomas is known as the “first lady” of Evansville’s civil rights movement. She came to Evansville in 1841 to begin a teaching career that lasted 36 years. She began a radio program, sponsored by the NAACP, which provided experiences for youths and adults and helped prepare them for a career in the media. In the 1950s, Thomas’s activism led to some of the first sit-ins at Evansville restaurants and hotels.