A hero passes

So many paying tribute to Steve Jobs, certainly an innovator and creative genius worthy of recognition, admiration and memorializing. However, for me, Steve Jobs was not a hero, though I use and appreciate the tools he was instrumental in creating.

This week, someone I do consider a personal hero died on the same day as Jobs. NY Times guest columnist Diane McWhorter authored the tribute below to the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth. I always thought of Shuttlesworth as the middle man or mediator between Dr. King and Stokely Carmichael (of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC). Specifically, I remember feeling genuine awe that this man would risk his life repeatedly to stand up to what was vicious and unequivocally wrong in this country–long before the eyes of the nation provided protective witness. Thank you for your courage and wisdom, Rev. Shuttlesworth.

From the NY Times column by McWhorter:

“IF you recognized the name of only one of the two greats who succumbed to cancer on Wednesday, that’s perhaps because the work of the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, who died at 89 in a hospital in Birmingham, Ala., was about as low-tech as it gets.

Using an operating system of unadorned bodily witness, backed by a headlong courage that often tested the grace of his God, Mr. Shuttlesworth was the key architect of the civil rights revolution’s turning-point victory in Birmingham, the mass marches of 1963.”

To see the rest of McWhorter’s tribute (worth the read), go here.

Use the link below to see the NY Times obituary, which includes a wonderful photograph of Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy, and Dr. King.

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, an Elder Statesman for Civil Rights, Dies at 89 (October 6, 2011)

And, more photos at this msnbc photo blog.

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One Response to “A hero passes”

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  1. Ellen Beberman says:

    Hear, hear! We rightfully celebrate Jobs the innovator, but we respect Shuttlesworth the truth-teller. Honoring his memory helps keep the truth alive.