Honoring Local Civil Rights Heroes


Last month, as part of our honoring Black History Month, I hosted a fireside chat with local leader and civic activist, Brotha Blanks. Brotha Blanks had previously shared with me the story of his late grandfather, Rev. H.D. Darby, who was instrumental in helping secure the right to vote for Black people in the south during the 1950s. Represented by, among others, future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Rev. Darby successfully sued in Mississippi in the landmark case Darby v. Daniel to end discriminatory election practices. It’s estimated that his courageous stand opened the door for approximately 1,300 African Voters in Jefferson Davis County to finally cast their vote and have their voice heard. Rev. Darby eventually moved to Waukegan where his family, including his daughter, grand children, great, great great, and great great great grandchildren still live to this day.

On Saturday, I was able to present Brotha Blanks and his family with a formal copy of the Congressional Record statement honoring his grandfather’s life and achievements.

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