The Pope-Morisey wedding.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 8 January 1938.

This blurb appears in the “Rocky Mount, N.C.” column of the Courier‘s 8 January 1938 society page. Per their marriage license, the wedding took place in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. Juanita Marion Pope was the daughter of O.R. and Myrtle Pope of Rocky Mount, and Alfred Alexander Morisey was the son of Rev. A.A. and Mamie Morisey of Raleigh. The couple did not live in Wilson very long — had they met there? — and it is not clear whether they taught at Darden or the Sallie Barbour school (or in the county). Though they are not found in the 1940 census, the 1942 Raleigh city directory lists: Morisey A Alex (c; Juanita) news reporter h S Davie ter CH. By 1946, the couple is listed in the Greensboro city directory with Alex working in public relations for Bennett College (his wife’s alma mater) and Juanita for the Colored Division of the United States Employment Service. 

Morisey’s obituary, published 26 July 1979 in the Washington Post, sheds light on his accomplishments after his time in Wilson:

“A. Alexander Morisey, 65, a former director of public relations at Howard University who was one of the first black reporters to work for a white owned southern newspaper, died of cancer Monday in New York City hospital.

“Mr. Morisey worked for the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal from 1949 to 1955 where he covered the black community and did general assignment reporting.

“Journal reporter Roy Thompson said, “Not a handful of people here remember after all these years, but blacks and whites in this town know a great deal more about one another than they did when Alex came to town, and he had a hand in this.”

“After working for the American Friends Service Committee, Mr. Morisey came to Washington and was public relations director at Howard University from 1967 to 1969.

“He left Howard to become public relations director of the Philadelphia Committee on Human Relations. Mr. Morisey joined the public relations staff of The New York Times in 1969, and was named public relations director two years later.

“Since 1973, he had been assistant for community relations to the president of Manhattan Community College in New York.

“Mr. Morisey was a native of Smithfield, N.C., and a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. He also did graduate work at American University.

“He is survived by his wife, Dr. Patricia Morisey, of the home in New York City; a son, A. Alexander Jr., of Philadelphia; two daughters Jean Alexander and Muriel Morisey, both of Washington; a stepson, Paul Garland, of New York City; a brother, John, of Philadelphia; a sister, Grace Jones, of Burlington, N.C., and three grandchildren.”

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