Timuel Dixon Black Jr. (December 7, 1918 – October 13, 2021) was an American educator, civil rights activist, historian and author. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Black studied the city's African American history. He was active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, most notably participating in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Chicago Freedom Movement during 1965 and 1966. Black was part of a coalition of Black Chicagoans which worked to elect Chicago's first African–American mayor, Harold Washington in 1983.
Timuel Dixon Black Jr.
December 7, 1918
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||October 13, 2021 (aged 102)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Wendell Phillips High School (attended)|
DuSable High School
|Alma mater||B.A. Roosevelt University|
University of Chicago
|Known for||Historian of Chicago's African American history|
Norisea J. Cummings
(m. 1946; div. 1958)
Ruby P. Battle
(m. 1959; div. 1968)
Early life and familyEdit
Timuel Dixon Black Jr. was born in December 7, 1918, in Birmingham, Alabama. Black's great-grandparents were slaves and his grandparents were born as slaves and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation; his parents were sharecroppers. Black described his father, Timuel Dixon Black Sr. and mother, Mattie (née McConner) as having taken part in the Great Migration. In his memoir, Sacred Ground, Black writes that his parents "migrated twice." Their first move was "from tenant farms where they chopped cotton to the market town of Florence, Alabama, and then on from there to the city of Birmingham," where his "daddy worked for Bessemer Steel." Their second migration was to Chicago in order "to be able fight back against white attackers, to get better jobs and be able to vote, and to get a better education for their children."
Education and military serviceEdit
Black grew up in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. For Black attended Burke Elementary School, Englewood High School, Wendell Phillips Academy High School and later graduated from DuSable High School in June 1937. After high school, Black worked for Robert Cole’s Chicago Metropolitan Assurance Company; later leaving Chicago to work at Greenbaum Tannery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1952, Black graduated from Roosevelt University, where he earned a bachelor's degree, and he later earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago. Black served in World War II, and he received four Battle Stars, the Croix de Guerre, and the Legion of Honour.
Black began his career as a teacher. After receiving his bachelor's degree, Black began working at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana in 1954. Black relocated back to Chicago in 1957 and began teaching at his alma mater, DuSable High School until 1959. Black worked as a social worker. During the 1960s, Black was president of the Negro American Labor Council (Chicago Chapter) and an organizer of Chicago participation in the 1963 March on Washington. During the 1963 Chicago municipal elections, Black unsuccessfully challenged Claude Holman, Chicago's 4th ward aldermen who was aligned with Mayor Richard J. Daley and with Chicago Public Schools superintendent Benjamin Willis. Black was the named plaintiff in the lawsuit Black v. McGuffage. The suit claimed that the Illinois voting system discriminated against minorities in its use of faulty punch card ballots. Deployed in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Chicago, the faulty ballots prevented residents from casting valid votes in the 2000 presidential election. After Black v. McGuffage, punch card ballots were eliminated and a uniform voting system was put in place. Black served on the board of Defending Rights & Dissent.
Tributes and legacyEdit
In 2017, Senator Dick Durbin introduced a tribute to Black in the Congressional Record on the occasion of Black's receipt of Citizen Action Illinois' ninth annual Pauls Award, named for Paul Simon and Paul Wellstone, describing Black as "a decorated World War II veteran, an educator, author, labor leader, civil rights activist, and historian—and a bender of the moral arc of the universe. He is a visionary and—for me and so many others—a personal hero."Sacred Ground is a memoir of interviews with Black about the African-American history of the South side of Chicago conducted by Susan Klonsky and edited by Bart Schultz was published in 2019. Black explained, "I'm here to personalize and transfer that history to younger people across all lines--race and gender."
Personal life and deathEdit
Black married three times and had two children. From 1946 until 1958, Black was married to Norisea J. Cummings and together they had two children, Ermetra and Timuel Kerrigan Black. Black's second marriage was to Ruby P. Battle from 1959 to 1968. From 1981 until his death, Black was married to Zenobia Johnson. In October 2021, it was reported that Black was in hospice care at his Kenwood home in Chicago. Black died at his home in Chicago on October 13, 2021, at the age of 102.
- Black, Timuel D. (2003). Bridges of Memory: Chicago's First Wave of Great Migration. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 9780810123151. OCLC 567296988.
- Black, Timuel D. (2007). Bridges of Memory: Chicago's Second Generation of Great Migration. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 9780810122956. OCLC 608033460.
- Black, Timuel D.; Klonsky, Susan (2019). Schultz, Eduard (ed.). Sacred Grounds: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black as Told to Susan Klonsky. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 9780810139244. OCLC 1088790146.
- Gettinger, Aaron. "Timuel Black honored for a life of achievement". HPHerald.com. Hyde Park Herald. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
- Yahoo News, Historian and civil rights activist Timuel Black Jr. dies at 102, October 13, 2021
- "Timuel Black". The History Makers. Archived from the original on August 31, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
- Traub, Alex (October 17, 2021). "Timuel Black, Strategist and Organizer for Black Chicago, Dies at 102". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- Ihejirika, Maudlyne (December 8, 2018). "Timuel Black — historian, civil rights activist, griot — reflects at age 100". Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on August 31, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
- Black, Timuel D. Jr. (January 15, 2019). Bart Schultz (ed.). Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black. As told to Susan Klonsky (First ed.). Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-8101-3924-4.
- Briscoe, Tony (February 26, 2018). "Historian Timuel Black celebrates school's past". Chicago Tribune. p. 3. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "PFC Timuel K. Black | Exhibits | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago". www.pritzkermilitary.org.
- "Documenting the Life of Dr. Timuel D. Black". ChiPubLib.org. Chicago Public Library. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- "Black v. McGuffage, 209 F. Supp. 2d 889 (N.D. Ill. 2002)". Court Listener. Free Law Project. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Staff Writer. "Historian Timuel Black's gift to Chicago". firstname.lastname@example.org. ACLU Illinois. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- "Board of Directors". Archived from the original on May 5, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Durbin, Richard (October 3, 2017). "Tribute to Timuel D. Black, Jr" (PDF). Congressional Record. 163 (158): S6284. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
- Rockett, Darcel (February 3, 2019). "100 years of South Side history". Chicago Tribune. p. 4. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Rosenberg-Douglas, Katherine. "'Senior statesman of Chicago's South Side' Timuel Black, 102, receiving hospice care at his home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
- "Timuel Black, civil rights leader and Chicago historian, 1918–2021 | University of Chicago News". University of Chicago News. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Ihejirika, Maudlyne (October 13, 2021). "Timuel Black, historian, civil rights activist, dies at 102". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 13, 2021.