Monday, October 24, 2005

Civil Rights Activist Passes Away

Long time political and social activist Cynthia DeLores Tucker died earlier this month at the age of 78. Funeral services were held in Philadelphia last Friday for this respected community leader.

Mrs. Tucker was an active participant in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, and continued to promote the causes of equal rights for minorities and for women throughout her life. She was active in Pennsylvania state and national politics, serving in several appointed positions in the state government during her career.

In an article by Zenitha Prince of the NNPA, Mrs. Tucker's many accomplishments and distinctions are listed, including:
* The first female vice president of the state NAACP.
* First Black woman to be named vice chair of the state Democratic Party.
* Convening founder and chairwoman of the National Congress of Black Women.
* Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee's Black Caucus.
* First African-American to serve as president of the National Federation of Democratic Women.
But in spite of her lifelong backing of the Democratic party, Mrs. Tucker gained the admiration and respect of many conservatives in the 1990s by her stand against the obscenities and hatred dominating the rap culture.
Though always controversial, Tucker ignited public attention when she launched a vociferous protest against obscene lyrics in rap music. She picketed in front of music stores and even picketed the NAACP in 1994 when it nominated rapper Tupac Shakur for one of its Image Awards. Shakur and other rappers retaliated by taunting and ridiculing Tucker in their songs, leading to a legal maelstrom involving Tucker, artists, song labels and news publications.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Tucker.

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