A while back I did a post including several of Chicago’s African American Royalty. Sorry groupies, I’m not talking about contemporary ‘Entertainers’ who rank among the boughetto. I mean the real movers and shakers – the ‘intellectual elite’ – such as my step-father the late Attorney Walter Kerrigan Black (aka Baba)and his brother Professor Timuel D. Black.

My blog stats have revealed an increase in google searches for Uncle Tim, which led to my blog. I googled him myself to see what events may have sparked a recent interest in the 89 year old historian. Wouldn’t you know – he’s a FOB (Friend of Barack)! According to some sources it is not said in a positive light.

He’s mentioned along with negative influences such as Bill Ayers and Quentin Young. He is considered part of the Obama and the left crew – a Communist and Socialist.

“…Timuel Black, a mutual friend, tries unsuccessfully to mend the rift between Obama and Palmer; Black is a long-time socialist, who associated with communists and Trotskyists in the 1930s, allegedly joined the Communist Party of the USA, was active in the Progressive Party, was president of the local chapter of the allegedly communist Negro American Labor Council, and was frequently involved with the annual Chicago Debs Day Dinners, an awards celebration for Illinois socialists. [74]”

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One person even predicted that Uncle Tim would be part of BHO Presidential Cabinet as head of the Department of Labor!

“Labor – Timuel Black – For you who don’t recognize the name, he is an insider in Chicago politics and huge supporter of Barak. He tried to Unionize the small restaurants and businesses in Chicago.”

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He is the go to person in Chicago that the media seeks for anything in African American History and now specifically Obama’s rise to presidency.

“…’This is a time that even folks of my generation have never seen before,” says Timuel Black.

Black has seen many a lifetime from his lifelong perch on Chicago’s South Side. The revered scholar, historian, political activist and grass-roots intellectual turns 90 on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day. He was born and raised in Bronzeville, the historic and iconic heart of black Chicago.

He is my most reliable barometer of what thoughtful African Americans are saying. I caught up with by phone last week. He had just returned home after voting early for You Know Who.

“…Obama will indeed be the real first black president. To be a successful American president, he will have to devise a way to pull us out of a historic quagmire.”

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“…Methodically, Obama went about meeting important members of the older generations on the South Side, African-American elders who could advise him and, subtly, approve of him. Timuel Black, an activist in his late eighties who has published oral histories of the black migration from the South, told me that Obama came to him eager to soak up everything he could about the politics, churches, and neighborhoods of the city.”

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I thought this was a pretty interesting perspective:

At 90 years young, Timuel D. Black personifies the endurance of generations of blacks who have waited for this moment.

“This is a great moment not just in American history, but in world history,” Black said during a telephone interview Tuesday morning.


It is the coming-of-age event that the army of young supporters who flocked to Barack Obama’s campaign will one day share with their grandchildren to teach them that life is full of possibilities.

It is also the moment that turns an old, tired, cliche into a reality.

Now, when I tell my grandsons and granddaughters they can grow up to become president of the United States, I won’t be feeding them a line.

“Obama is the most highly qualified candidate to be president of the United States,” Black said “He just happens to be an African American, and I believe this is the test of whether race matters or not.

“The victory of Barack Obama, who comes from an African background as well as a European background, indicates the possible inclusiveness of all people regardless of race, creed, gender, religion — from the lowest rungs of the ladder to the highest rung of the ladder.

“The whole world is watching,” Black pointed out.

“People — not just in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas — but all over the world are tuned in to see if a nation that in its infancy said all men were created equal as part of its Declaration of Independence, then made some people slaves, can live up to that promise,” Black said.

Despite his awesome charisma, incredible political skills, and good fortune, Obama didn’t get to this moment alone.

“We have to respect the fact that the ascendancy of Barack Obama was built on the struggles of people before him,” Black continued, ticking off the roll call:

“In more recent times, Fannie Lou Hamer, a voting-rights activist; Rosa Parks; E.D. Nixon, a little-known Pullman porter; the emergence of Martin Luther King as a worldwide figure, and locally here in Chicago, Harold Washington as the city’s first black mayor.

“When I look back at the young people who pushed these ideas of equality, they were the children of parents who were involved in the [civil rights movement].”

Ironically, in defeating Hillary Clinton, Obama has nearly retraced the steps that launched his political career in 1995 when he refused to bow out of a state Senate race — a decision that ended the career of Alice Palmer, a then popular politician.

Black, who is now an Obama supporter, was among the political activists who had to repair the burned bridges.

Judging by e-mails from angry Clinton supporters, and the latest controversy involving Father Michael Pfleger (who has been banished from his post at St. Sabina because of his harsh ridicule of Clinton), the road Obama must travel next will likely be filled with potholes.

“I think people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger, and others of that kind have to recognize that as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he was courting the white Democratic vote in the South: ‘Before I can be a good president, I must first be president.’ “

“[Roosevelt] came in through a period of the Great Depression and started the New Deal. Until then, we didn’t have Social Security, unemployment compensation or welfare.

“With the help of those around him, he created a new society that eased us through the Depression,” Black said.

“Those around Obama have to understand that before he can be a good president, he has to first be elected.”

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My step-father would be 92 years old if he were a live today. I still remember many of his quotes and this is the one I think he would have said had he lived to see America’s first black President:

“Oh my soul on Cottage Grove” ~Walter Kerrigan Black, a noted Chicago lawyer who became a partner in the major South Side law firm of McCoy, Ming and Leighton.