Timuel Black, Chicago historian, civil rights activist, and WWII veteran awarded French Legion of Honor

On the occasion of his 100th birthday, Chicago historian and civil rights activist Timuel Black, was awarded France’s highest honor, the French Legion of Honor by Consul General Guillaume Lacroix.

The pinning ceremony was held during a days-long celebration of the life and achievements of Mr. Black, "The Life and Times of Timuel D. Black: A Centenary Symposium."

Among the attendees present to honor and celebrate Mr. Black were Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and other officials and dignitaries.

Consul General Lacroix thanked Mr. Black on behalf of the French president Emmanuel Macron, and on behalf of the French people:

I want to say that without Mr. Black, the French flag that is here, would not be flying today. It is just as simple as that. Without the acts of bravery, of heroism, and sacrifice of heroes like Mr. Black, France would not be a free, independent, and democratic country... Mr. Black changed the fate of France forever.

Consul General Lacroix also recognized Mr. Black’s priceless contributions to the fight for human and civil rights:

On our way here, my daughter asked why we were honoring Mr. Black. I said he is one of the heroes who saved your grandfather’s life and destiny when he was your age, eight years old. And also, Mr. Black played a very important role in championing civil rights, democracy, justice, and equality.

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See full video of the French Legion of Honor presentation ceremony for Mr. Timuel Black, courtesy of the Jazz Institute of Chicago

In the news

Timuel Black — historian, civil rights activist, griot — reflects at age 100, Chicago Sun Times

Timuel Black, Chicago historian and decorated WWII veteran, turns 100, ABC 7 Chicago

Timuel Black honored for a life of achievement, Hyde Park Herald

Happy 100th Birthday Timuel Black!, The Chicago Crusader

Tim Black’s 100th Birthday, Receives French Legion of Honor Medal, Patch.Com

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JPEGConsul General Lacroix with Rev. Jesse Jackson, and to the right, Perri Irmer, President and CEO of The DuSable Museum of African American History.

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JPEGPhoto credit: Burrell Sunrise

JPEGPhoto credit: Burrell Sunrise

JPEGTimuel D. Black with his wife Zenobia Johnson-Black (her hands are on his shoulders) and local politicians including (back row – second left to right) United States Rep. Jan Schakowsky (9th), United States Rep. Danny Davis (7th), Stephen Curda, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, United States Sen. Dick Durbin, Mrs. Black, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th); and (front row) Illinois State Sen. Mattie Hunter (3rd), former Ambassador and former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Mr. Black, and French Consul General Guillaume Lacroix.

Last modified on 02/01/2019

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