April 15, 2014

Happy Birthday: Harold Washington (1922-1987)

Harold Washington sparked the imagination of African Americans throughout the nation when he was elected mayor of Chicago. It was one thing to have mayors in small towns or someplace down in the South. It was another thing for an unabashedly proud Blackman to be elected mayor of the 2nd largest city in the nation.

We honor the anniversary of Mayor Washington's birthday here on this blog!

I think it is fair to say that we would not have Barack Obama has our president if we didn't have Harold Washington as Chicago's mayor. What are your thoughts or memories of Harold Washington?
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D.J. said...

If you were black in Chicago in school while Harold was the mayor you had a picture of him somewhere on your person. i kept mine inside the plastic of my trapper keeper.

underOvr (aka The U) said...


I had moved to Texas when Harold Washington ran for mayor. I was filled with excitement because I still considered myself a Chicagoan.

I cannot describe the pride I felt watching WGN (a Chicago TV station) and hearing the news that, "Harold Washington has won the Chicago mayoral election".

To me it was unprescedented. Particularly because it occurred in Chicago a city that was so racially polarized.

His untimely death was unexpected and tragic. The Daley family has resumed the mayoral chair but for that time in Chicago history, we were able to bask in his achievement.


Monica Roberts said...

I remember how much pride we Houstonians had when Harold was elected. It also shifted the burden to us as being the largest city that hadn't elected a Black mayor, a distinction we shed in 1997.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there Villager,

Thanks for honoring Harold Washington!

It was a shame that he died prematurely. He was a visionary and a man of courage.

Sadly, some blacks still need to see another black person do something before they can CONCEIVE of what is possible for themselves. This is a dangerous mentality but it is prevalent.

We have to become people who are willing to make things happen that WE HAVEN'T seen any other black person do or achieve.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Villager said...

DJ - I never knew of the photos being kept in that manner. That is a remarkable thing. I doubt that we carry photos of Obama in that manner. MLK and Malcolm X were the last Black people to be framed in homes of Black people to a large extent. I still have a framed poster of Malcolm X in my place...

underOvr - Thanks for sharing your personal remembrance of Mayor Washington. If we don't honor the lions in our past ... who will?

Monica - How did your Black mayor in Houston do? Did he make you proud?

Lisa - Obama did something unprecedented. It is time for each of us to do the same in our own sphere of influence...