A funeral service will be held Friday to honor the life and legacy of Chicago civil rights activist Timuel Black, who died earlier this month at the age of 102.
Black, who passed away Oct. 13, spent decades on the front lines of the struggle for civil rights in the United States, working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helping to get the late Mayor Harold Washington elected in 1983.
A public viewing was held Thursday in his memory, with Friday’s funeral limited to invited guests and speakers, according to the family. The funeral will be livestreamed on YouTube.
Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church will deliver the eulogy at the funeral. Sen. Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, Obama Foundation Executive VP Michael Alexander Strautmanis and Peggy Montes of the DuSable Museum of African American History will speak at the service.
According to the family, a public memorial service will be held Dec. 5 at the University of Chicago.
Tim spent decades chronicling and lifting up Black Chicago history, but he also made plenty of history himself.
Black was a highly-celebrated centenarian in the city and his death sparked condolences from high places.
"Today, the city of Chicago and the world lost an icon with the passing of Timuel Black," former President Barack Obama wrote on social media, calling him a "truly incredible man."
"Tim spent decades chronicling and lifting up Black Chicago history," the former president said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was "fortunate enough" to visit with Black before his death.
Timuel Dixon Black, a prominent Chicago civil rights activist, had strong connections to the city's community. On the day of his passing, city leaders reflected on his many accomplishments. NBC 5's Christian Farr reports.
Black was born Dec. 7, 1918 to sharecroppers in Birmingham, Alabama. A year later, he and his family moved to Chicago as part of the great migration — and never left.
Black’s activism started as a teenager, walking picket lines to protest white-only employment in Bronzeville’s shopping district.
He attended DuSable High School, where he was classmates with famed musician Nat King Cole and John Johnson, founder of Ebony and Jet magazines.
Black joined the Army at the age of 23, serving in World War II at Normandy and Battle of the Bulge. He promoted desegregation in the armed forces and his tour of duty earned him four battle stars.
After the war, Black returned home and went to college, receiving his bachelors degree at Roosevelt University and his masters degree at the University of Chicago before becoming a teacher.
In the mid-1950s, Black became very active in the civil rights movement. He advocated for racial equality, open housing in a segregated Chicago and union organizing.
He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King when he was in Chicago, and led a group of Chicagoans to the 1963 March on Washington.
Black later helped spearhead the voter registration campaign credited with assisting in the election of the late Mayor Harold Washington.
The University of Chicago hosted Black’s 100
th birthday celebration in 2018, where he received the French Legion of Armor.
In 2020, longtime friends and associates held a drive-by celebration to honor the beloved historian and civil rights activist.
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Legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, performing here in 2019, died Aug. 24, 2021. Watts joined the Stones early in 1963 and remained over the next 60 years, ranked just behind Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as the group’s longest-lasting and most essential member.
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Veteran character actor Charlie Robinson, best known for his role as the court clerk on the classic sitcom “Night Court,” died July 11, 2021 in Los Angeles.
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EMPTY_CAPTION"I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” singer B.J. Thomas arrives at the SeriousFun Children’s Network event at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="/news/local/hooked-on-a-feeling-singer-b-j-thomas-dies-at-78" target="_blank">He died on May 29, 2021, at age 78 after announcing he was diagnosed with lung cancer in March.</a>
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, poses for a portrait at home in Buckingham Palace in December 1958 in London, England. Philip, who was the longest-serving consort in Britain’s history as Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, <a href="/news/national-international/prince-philip-husband-of-britains-queen-elizabeth-ii-dies-at-99/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">died at the age of 99 on April 9th.</a>
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Hal Holbrook holds his Emmy Awards at The 26th Emmy Awards on May 28, 1974, at Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, California. The <a href="http://entertainment/entertainment-news/hal-holbrook-mark-twain-tv-film-stage-actor" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">five-time Emmy awards winner</a>, best known for his portrayals as Mark Twain and the Watergate whistleblower "Deep Throat," died at the age of 95 on Feb. 2, 2021.
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Pioneering actor Cicely Tyson earned a reputation for portraying strong Black women in a career that spanned more than seven decades. She earned an Oscar nomination for her role in “Sounder” (1972) and a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88. Tyson died Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. She was 96.<br>
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Tommy Lasorda poses during a 1980 photo portrait session at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Lasorda, who had spent seven decades with the Dodgers as a player, scout, manager and executive, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="/news/national-international/former-dodgers-manager-tommy-lasorda/" target="_blank">is most known for his time managing the team from 1976 to 1996,</a> leading them to two World Series wins and two World Series losses. He died at 93, according to the Dodgers.