PUBLISHED ON : OCTOBER 14, 2021 / 07:47 PM
Labor organizer and civil rights activist Timuel Black Jr. died on Oct. 13 at 102 years old.
According to USA Today, he died in hospice care at his South Side Chicago home. His wife, Zenobia Johnson-Black, told the outlet, “I hope to celebrate his life every day of my life. He was trying to make this world a better place. And that’s what he urged others to do. So that’s how I hope he’ll be remembered.”
Former President Barack Obama released a statement, which read, “Tim spent decades chronicling and lifting up Black Chicago history. But he also made plenty of history himself.”
He continued, “Over his 102 years, Tim was many things: a veteran, historian, author, educator, civil rights leader, and humanitarian. But above all, Tim was a testament to the power of place, and how the work we do to improve one community can end up reverberating through other neighborhoods and other cities, eventually changing the world.”
Black attended Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
Born December 7, 1918, in Mobile, Alabama and raised in Chicago, Black served in World War II, attended Roosevelt University in Chicago and received a degree in sociology in 1952. Additionally, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1954 and would eventually teach at the City Colleges of Chicago.
After seeing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preach on television in December 1955 about the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, he joined the civil rights movement. He soon began working alongside Dr. King. His advocacy continued, helping to elect Chicago’s first Black mayor,