The recipient of the legendary "Lu Palmer Award" at this years 7th Annual Community Activist Awards is veteran activist "Mark Allen" Chairman of National Black Wall Street Chicago. Come out and support him Saturday, February 8th @ At The PRINCE HALL BANQUET ROOM 809 E. 42nd Pl. (42nd & Cottage Grove) 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM Tickets:$50.00 [RSVP]
This event is sponsored by the Temple of Mercy Association. For more information call: 773-846-3091
Lutrelle F. Palmer Called the godfather of Chicago black political activism, Lutrelle "Lu" Palmer was born March 28, 1922, in Newport News, Virginia. While his two older sisters opted for careers in education, Palmer became a journalist when he arrived in Chicago in 1950 with a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. "The Panther with a pen" spent fifty years galvanizing and informing the black community as a reporter, syndicated columnist, newspaper publisher and radio commentator. From 1983 until his retirement in 2001, Palmer hosted an issues-oriented talk show. Palmer came to Chicago in 1950 as a reporter for the Chicago Defender. He wrote for other newspapers, including the Chicago Daily News, where he also served as a syndicated columnist and editor for the Nashville-based Tri-State Defender. He founded the Black X-Press Info-Paper in Chicago. He was a recruiter, organizer and preceptor for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest from 1970 to 1990. Sometimes Palmer's positions caused him to quit or lose a job. Illinois Bell canceled its sponsorship of Palmer's twelve-year-old radio show in 1983 when he became an outspoken supporter of Harold Washington, who, with Palmer's help, became Chicago's first African American mayor. As a community activist, he founded the Chicago Black United Communities in 1979 and the Black Independent Political Organization in 1981, and served as chairman of the Extended Services Program for the Group Living Facilities for Boys in 1998. Palmer's scores of honors include the Chicago State University Black Writers' Hall of Fame, induction into the Black Journalists Hall of Fame, the Jomo Kenyatta Award for Political Activism, the Outstanding Service/ Community Information Award, Grambling State's Outstanding Service Award, Bell Labs' Black Achievement Against the Odds Award, and the Proclamation of Unity Award. Palmer received a journalism degree from Virginia Union University in 1942 and a master's degree from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Jorja English Palmer, resided on Chicago's South Side and had seven children. Lutrelle Palmer passed away on September 12, 2004. His wife passed on December 29, 2005.
I am so proud to be the recipient of the legendary Lu Palmer Award in honor of a man who seriously helped pave a way for me as a youth leadership voice. As a student leader it was Lu Palmer who gave me and our student leadership group our first real grassroots office space in his headquarters on 37th Street and gave me an official youth leadership voice in his organizations CBUC (Chicago Black United Communities) and BIPO (Black Independent Political Organization). He gave us the opportunity to form our Young Black Leadership Roundtable and Black Leadership Development Institute (BLDI) and he made me and others official youth leadership voices at the many grassroots leadership meetings and rallies including his own campaign for Congress and other but most notably the historic campaigns of Chicago's 1st Black Mayor Harold Washington; and voice on his legendary talk show on WVON on so many grassroots empowerment issues.
During the historic 1988 Presidential Campaign of the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr I was one of the national field staff and Lu Palmer made me his official correspondent calling in from the many campaign stops across the country giving real reports on all the things that the major media were not reporting; and later in my leadership career I was humbled to be the youngest nighttime talk show host on WVON's Prime Time "On Target" Talk Show and I was in the major line-up with major activists including Lu Palmer. It was people like Lu Palmer who helped lay the foundation for me to be a living part of so much of Black political history. It was Lu Palmer who challenged me to start writing my own interpretations of what was going on with youth in the movement which led to me writing many commentaries that were featured in The Chicago Defender, The Independent Bulletin, and the then Ebony Jr Magazine and others. I am humbled during this Black History Month to be receiving this prestigious award in the name of a man who was indeed a major part of Chicago's Black History! An honor I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Of course, for those who knew Lu Palmer know that for all that Lu Palmer invested in me and others didnt come alone, but also through his wife Jorja. She is another whose memories I will also value and cherish and forever grateful.
Thanks to The Temple Of Mercy Association for including me in this Prestigious Annual Awards Recognition ceremony among other honorees and for me in the name and legacy of Chicago's Black Political God father Lu Palmer who was one who was there at the very beginning of what has now been over 40 years in public service anchored in the Black community.
Chairman & COO National Black Wall Street Chicago
(Rev. Willie T. Barrow Consumer Education and Consumer Action Project)
Founder/Lead Organizer, Illinois Voter Restoration Civic Education Project
Chief of Staff to National Chairman, National Black Wall Street USA
"And The Ordinary People Said" News Blog, www.chicagonow.com
Chairman, Community Reinvestment Organizing Project
Listed in 2012 Edition Who' Who In Black Chicago
4655 South King Drive, Suite 203
Chicago, Illinois 60653
(Office) 773-268-6900 or direct 773-392-0165
The Rev. Al Sharpton calls Mark Allen "one of Chicago's legendary political activists and one of the best organizers of his generation"