AAPF Remembers George Curry

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Today AAPF mourns the tragic loss of George Curry. He was a journalistic giant, a gifted and pathbreaking leader in the Black press who championed the civil rights movement and the cause of Black liberation throughout his remarkable career - a career that spanned newspapers, TV and the creation of the invaluable Emerge magazine, which he was reviving online at the time of his death.
 

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Whether it was the Supreme Court, the White House or traditional civil rights organizations, Curry was not reluctant to ruffle feathers of friends and foes alike on matters of social justice.  His provocative covers during his tenure at Emerge magazine were visual representations of a critical mind that sought to inform and engage on  issues impacting Black America. Says Reverend Jesse Jackson: "He called it like he saw it every time."

Named by the National Association of Black Journalists as one of the most influential Black journalists of the 20th Century, Curry was among the first to identify the crisis that became mass incarceration, among the first to confront how the legacy of Thurgood Marshall had been reversed by the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, and among the first to recognize how neither conventional civil rights organizations nor Democratic Presidents always serve the best interests of Black America. He represented the finest of the Black journalistic tradition, in both his reporting and in his generous mentorship of young writers and activists. What’s more, he was ready to challenge gender and age biases that shaped Black political discourses, constantly providing information that broadened the way we think about community and political interests. At the end of the day, he was unafraid to take on anyone.

We at AAPF had the great pleasure and honor of working with Curry for nearly twenty years on matters ranging from Affirmative Action to My Brothers Keeper.  He was an expert adviser whose guidance we greatly appreciated. More than once he helped us to navigate the tricky waters of elite politics in the DC beltway and beyond. The impact of our campaigns over the years owes much to the sage wisdom and knowledge he gave us as our chief source for media training among our allies. Moreover, he was a member of national and international delegations we jointly participated in to support exchanges with journalists, scholars and activists engaged in racial justice work.  We were looking forward to the renewal of Emerge under his extraordinary leadership; and his death represents the lost of a national treasure.

We encourage those who would like to join us in honoring George's legacy to donate to EmergeNewsOnline's GoFundMe page, which George launched prior to his death.

The funeral will take place Saturday at Weeping Mary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A public viewing will be held from noon to 7pm Friday.