Raphael Cassimere, Jr., a sixth-generation New Orleanian and a product of its public schools, earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from UNO and his Ph.D from Lehigh University. He taught at UNO for thirty-seven years and retired as Seraphia D. Leyda Professor-Emeritus in 2007. He has been active with the NAACP and is past chair of the VCC. Cassimere is the author of African Americans in New Orleans Before the Civil War and numerous scholarly articles.