Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Ron Brown

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Ron Brown

Article excerpt

Ron Brown.

The death of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown in a plane crash on April 1 in Bosnia shocked the nation.

To remember him, Black Issues reprints comments be made on February 1, 1990 as a participant in the annual videoconference "Beyond the Dream: A celebration of Black History." Mr. Brown, who was then chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was asked if he felt a special responsibility to those who had fought for civil rights in the 1960s.

I absolutely do have a special responsibility. I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of many people. You talked about 25 years ago. Twenty-five years ago, a Black woman from Ruleville, Mississippi, by the name of Fannie Lou Hamer fought to get a single seat at the Democratic National Convention at Atlantic City and fought without success. And 25 years later I sit with you here today as chairman of that party. That's a long way in a short time. But I also recognize that we still have a long way to go. And I think one of the ways that the civil rights movement has transitioned has been to turn into a political empowerment movement. We around this nation recognize that one of the answers to breaking down those barriers of racism that still exist within our society is active participation in politics. …

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