|photo credit: Francis Miller/Time&Life Pictures/Getty Images|
(Essay written by Sadiq Green)
Long before Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton or Jeremiah Wright, there was Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., representing the 18th Congressional District covering the village of Harlem, New York. Had he lived, Powell would have turned 100 today.
Bold, cunning, courageous and outrageous, Adam Clayton Powell was “Black Power” before it became a rallying cry for a new generation of Black youth.
For Blacks of the Jim Crow era, the name Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is synomonous with two other giants of his era, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Powell was born in New Haven, Connecticut and moved with his family to New York City. His father, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., had received an assignment as pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in midtown Manhattan. Under the elder Powell’s leadership the church congregation grew into one of the largest in the United States, with some 14,000 members. The church outgrew its midtown sanctuary and Reverend Powell, Sr., moved his church and his family uptown to Harlem, the burgeoning Black Mecca of the 1920’s.
(click here to read the Sadiq Green's full essay on the Digital Journal website)