Civil rights journalist, Youngstowner Simeon Booker died today


Youngstown native and Civil Rights journalist Simeon Booker died today at the age of 99.

He died today in Maryland where he lived with his wife Carol, who was at his side along with son Teddy.

A larger story will come tonight.

Here is a Vindicator profile story of Booker from 2013 that was the catalyst for a local movement to create the Simeon Booker Award for Courage.

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By Todd Franko

Vindy Editor

"Spring is coming, this I know, for the robin told me so. Flowers and grass are going to grow, Winter goes with ice and snow."

Those are the first published words of Simeon Booker Jr., printed in The Vindicator when he was a fourth-grader at Madison Elementary School around 1928.

Now 94, he has published millions more words.

Not all are as beautiful.

You have read about the 1950s lynchings of black men in the South.

And about the Emmett Till murder that launched the civil rights movement.

And the Freedom Rides, where buses were torched and people were

beaten by the KKK.

And the marches in Selma, Ala., and Washington, D.C., in the

pursuit of racial equality.

Bearing witness to those incidents and countless more was a bow-tied, well-dressed reporter — Booker.

He meticulously and painfully recorded it all, in his words, to force America to see what the white press of the day often would dare not report.

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