Loss of Three Great Americans

October 6, 2011

The world lost three great people yesterday, October 5, 2011.

 Reverend Fred Shuttleworth: was a U.S. civil rights activist who led the fight against segregation and other forms of racism as a minister in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was instrumental in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, and continued to work against racism and for alleviation of the problems of the homeless in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he took up a pastorate in 1961. The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth refused to back down despite huge risks, enduring arrests, beatings and injuries from fire hoses aimed at blacks marching for racial equality in the segregated South of the early 1960s. He died Wednesday at age 89, lauded for his fearlessness in that fight.    


Prof. Derrick Bell: Derrick Bell, father of Critical Race Theory and the first tenured law professor at Harvard Law School has passed away.  A legal scholar who worked to expose the persistence of racism in America through his books and articles and his provocative career moves — he gave up a Harvard Law School professorship to protest the school’s hiring practices — died on Wednesday in New York. He was 80.



Steve Jobs:  Steve Jobs, the visionary who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the world's leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as the iPhone, died Wednesday. He was 56.


Each of these people were examples of great American heroes.  When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. journey to Birmingham, Alabama to take on Bull Connor and segregation, it was Rev. Shuttleworth who persuaded Dr. King to make life in “Bomb-ingham” known to the world.  When James Meredith wanted to get into Ole Miss, it was Attorney Derrick Bell from the Hill District of Pittsburgh at the helm who led his legal case to victory, as well as over 300 other school desegregation cases.  Steve Jobs biological parents would not marry because his mother’s family did not want her to marry an ‘Arab’, but he would lead innovation that changed the world of technology as we know it.

These gentlemen are gone from this earth, but what that lets you know is that you are required to become that next great American hero to someone else.  Rev. Shuttleworth lived though some of America’s harshest periods of legal segregation.  Prof. Bell was raised in the golden era in Pittsburgh’s Black community.  Steve Jobs ate free meals at his local Hare Krishna while he worked to make the dreams and visions in his head come true and technology.

What are you preparing to do? 

Who’s life are you prepared to impact? 

We are the change we have been waiting for.