Today, many Chicagoans who loved, respected, and admired the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black chief executive, still find it hard to believe that he died of a fatal heart attack the day before Thanksgiving, thirty-four (34) years ago this week on November 25, 1987 in his City Hall office.
In honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington, the Hon. Mary Flowers, Ill-31st Dist., will join Rev. Paul Jakes, Jr.,social activist & Pastor-New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church; former Washington Administration officials Alton Miller, former Press Secretary; Jacquelyn ‘Jacky’ Grimshaw-former Dir. Intergovernmental Affairs, Rebecca Sive, former Advisor, GenX Attorney Sandra Wortham, and Chicago media personality Art Norman to share Memorial Remarks on Nov. 24th. They will be joined by a diverse multi-ethnic coalition of current and former local officials and civic, community and religious leaders will join members of the Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee (MHWLC), in hosting the Annual Mayor Harold Washington Remembrance & Recognition Wreath Laying Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 24, 2019 at Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street in Chicago, where such Black notables as Olympian Jesse Owens, prominent journalist, abolitionist and activist Ida B. Wells–Barnett, Ebony/Jet magazine publishing company founder John H. Johnson, the father of Black gospel music Thomas A. Dorsey and the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s 51st Mayor, among others are buried.
It seems like yesterday. Even now, the pride in his achievements, as well as the painful memories surrounding the end of this historic ‘Mayoral Miracle’, which began with his monumental election on the date of April 12, 1983 remain fresh in the minds of many inter-generational activists and admirers.
This November 24th ceremony occasion will celebrate and explore the life and legacy of Mayor Washington, the city’s first African-American Mayor, featuring multi –generational speakers, a TAPS wreath ceremony,and a youth ROTC brigade featuring students from CPS Westinghouse College Prep and Rich Township Arts & Communications Academy. The public is invited to attend. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed.
“The legacy of Mayor Washington remains socially and politically relevant in the Black Lives Matter movement, will stay alive and well for today and the future,” says Josie Childs, President of the Chicago-based nonprofit MHWLC organization. “Our mission is to reignite the progressive spirit of unity and keep alive the essential purposeful philosophies of inclusion and dedicated public service embodied by Mayor Washington during his highly accomplished life.”
The Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee (MHWLC) is a 501.c.3 Chicago-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the memory and historical legacy of Chicago’s 1st Black Mayor