They’re making sure they take care of him the way he took care of them!
The Chicago community is raising funds for the hospice care of 102-year-old civil rights leader and historian Timuel Black, Block Club Chicago reports. Last December, he celebrated his 102nd birthday with a drive-through party attended by former students, politicians, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Throughout his life, he has continued to be a beacon of light for his community, making regular appearances to discuss his life and activism in Chicago’s Black Belt.
In March, he became the first inductee into the Illinois Black Hall of Fame. And he was honored with a scholarship in his name “to support a University of Chicago student carrying on the legacy of [the] South Side legend.”
His wife of 40 years, Zenobia Johnson-Black, called the induction “well deserved,” saying, “I have seen firsthand and up close his commitment, dedication, his putting the community first and his activism.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Black is considered the “senior statesman of Chicago’s South Side. Black is an author, a former professor emeritus at City Colleges of Chicago, and a staple in American and world history.
“I was born during the 1918 influenza pandemic. My parents were sharecroppers in Alabama before moving to Chicago when I was 3 years old. I fought Nazis in Europe during World War II, and I organized the Chicago delegation to Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington as the civil rights movement took wings,” Black wrote in a 2020 essay in the Chicago Tribune about the importance of the census.
In 2018, then-mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about Black’s significant contributions, saying, “Timuel Black represents not just the very best of Chicago; he represents the very best of humanity…He is a shining example to generations of Chicagoans of heroism, courage, and decency.
Recently, Black entered into hospice care, receiving services at his home. Lisa Yun Lee, a cultural activist and executive director of the National Public Housing Museum, has now launched a GoFundMe on his behalf, calling on the community to assist with his care and pay it forward.
“We don’t know how much time Tim has with us, but we want him to be as comfortable and with as much dignity as possible,” Lee wrote on the fundraising page.
The campaign was launched this past Wednesday, donors raising more than $85,000 to date, surpassing the stretch goal of $75,000. All of the funds will go to his wife to assist with in-home nursing care and other related expenses.
“Tim has been working for all of us for his whole life, fighting the good fight to create a better world. Let us join together and show how much we care. Please give generously,” said Lee.
To support the GoFundMe for Black, click here.
Thank you for everything you’ve done, Mr. Black! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune