Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A life devoted to justice

Delaware Online
By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • July 15, 2009

'We owe [Lit Mitchell] not just our gratitude, but our pledge that we will continue his work.'

NEWARK -- As University of Delaware President Patrick Harker pointed out Tuesday, the university and the late civil rights leader Littleton P. Mitchell "had a history with one another."
So it was notable, too, that Mitchell's memorial service was held at UD's Mitchell Hall -- the same hall where Mitchell once was barred as a speaker, the same university that would not admit black students when Mitchell was growing up in Delaware.
Mitchell was 90 years old when he died July 6 after an auto accident near his Delaware City home.
In the intervening years, Mitchell and UD had more than reconciled. The university awarded its Medal of Merit to Mitchell and his late wife, Jane, a nurse who was a trailblazer in her own right.
It was, as Harker underlined, proof of the university's capacity for change. And that capacity "resides in each of us," he said. "We owe him not just our gratitude, but our pledge that we will continue his work."
Mitchell's pursuit of justice, his love of life and family, and the call to carry on all were themes that echoed throughout the 2 1/2-hour "Celebration of a Purposeful Life."

Full Obituary:

[AAAA Note: Mr. Mitchell received AAAA's Rosa Parks Award in 2008]

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