A pioneer for justice and civil rights, Timuel Dixon Black died Wednesday, Oct. 14 at age 102.
Well known for his work in the Black community as an author, educator, revered statesman, and historian, Black will be remembered by his family as well as his peers.
Born in Alabama, Black moved to Chicago and became the voice for civil rights, a humanitarian for social justice and an educator who helped rewrite history.
Black attended Roosevelt University for his bachelor’s and the University of Chicago for his master’s. He later taught sociology and anthropology at City Colleges of Chicago where he held the title of professor emeritus.
Black also marched and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was responsible for helping to elect Harold Washington as the first black mayor of Chicago, and advocated to bring the Obama Presidential Center to Jackson Park.
Often called upon for his historical memory, Black documented much of his knowledge in his book “Bridges of Memory: Chicago’s First Wave of Great Migration.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson took to Twitter to remember Black. “Timuel Black, a professor, author, and community activist, was a great teacher and a tall tree in the civil rights,” Jackson Sr. said. “He was a devotee of Dr. King’s work and those who worked for his staff. We all have a profound admiration for Tim Black. He is an icon of rare vintage…I miss him already. RIP”
Barack Obama voiced his sentiments on Twitter as well. “Today, we lost an icon with the passing of Timuel Black.” Obama said. “Over his 102 years, Tim was many things: a veteran, historian, author, educator, civil rights leader, and humanitarian. Michelle and I send our thoughts to his family, and everyone who loved him.”
Being a man of many titles, Black took on the challenges of desegregating schools, promoted equal rights and dedicated his life to service as well as education.
Lori Lightfoot released a statement via Twitter, Wednesday night. “Today we lost a city treasure, but his legacy will endure for decades to come.” Lightfoot said. “Dr. Black dedicated so many decades of his long life to advancing civil rights and racial justice by empowering and educating younger generations here in our city and across the nation.”
The civil rights veteran is survived by his wife, Zenobia and daughter, Ermetra Black Thomas. A private funeral service is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20. A public memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, December 5.