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Former NAACP’s chapter president, Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his right temple, according to N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office. Rev. Spearman was also the former pastor of Phillips A.M.E. Zion Church in Greensboro, N.C. 

The 71-year-old minister was found deceased at his Guilford County home on July 19, 2022, during a welfare check by a loved one while his wife was away caring for a relative.

“He was a man of strong conviction who loved his family with every ounce of his being,” a statement from Spearman’s family read.

Reports indicate burn marks around the wound caused by a .32-caliber handgun found near his right hand. During the autopsy of Spearman’s body, a bullet was recovered.

It was also discovered that Spearman had two small, self-inflicted cuts on each wrist during the autopsy. Moreover, a stool near his body contained an X-ACTO knife with blood on the handle and blade.

Alcohol consumption was not detected in a toxicological analysis of the former NAACP’s chapter president’s blood. According to those who knew him, he spent a significant amount of time as a substance-abuse counselor.  

In his life, Rev. T. Anthony Spearman rallied people in opposition to policies that negatively affected the poor, minorities, and gays. He was even recognized by Bishop William J. Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. 

N.C. NAACP’s former president’s death ruled suicide Rev. T. Anthony Spearman
The Rev. T. Anthony Spearman and the Rev. William Barber walk out of the Hiram H. Ward Federal Building in 2014 during recess on the first day of a hearing challenging a new North Carolina voting law. | Photo by Andrew Dye/Journal

During the “Moral Monday” demonstrations that started in 2013 against Republican-led legislative policies that he felt attacked the poor, Spearman was one of 17 original protesters. Both Barber and Spearman were arrested during the protests.

“North Carolina and the nation have lost a champion of justice and a beloved public servant,” Barber said in a statement. 

Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Wall Street Times and a descendant of two families that survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Although his publication’s store and newsroom...