Boston lost one of its most iconic civil rights leaders Tuesday with the passing of Mel King, 94, who served communities of color with tenacity throughout his life.
In his political career, King was best known for his 1983 mayoral run which made him the first Black mayoral candidate to advance to a general election. During his run for office, his campaign of positivity and unity under the Rainbow Coalition helped to mend the disparate state of race relations in the city.
King also served as a state representative from 1973 to 1982, and fought for countless victories in affordable housing and employment. Beyond his work as a community organizer and activist, King also worked at MIT as an adjunct professor of urban studies and planning and founded the Community Fellows Program.
Reflecting on King’s contributions to Boston reveals the immeasurable impact he has had, and the vision he had for a city where everyone could have equal access and opportunities. How will Boston honor the legacy of a man that changed so many lives for the better? What does his passing mean for the generations that followed him?
This week on Basic Black, we’re discussing the life and legacy of Mel King and what it means to truly honor him. Host Phillip Martin will be joined by: Rahsaan Hall, principal at Rahsaan Hall consulting, and the former director of the Racial Justice Unit, ACLU of Massachusetts; Marita Rivero, principal at Rivero Partners, former vice president and general manager at GBH, and former president of the Museum of African American History; James S. Dilday, Esq., principal attorney at Dilday Law; and Darrin Howell, political director in Massachusetts of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare workers East.
Watch the latest episode of Basic Black tonight at 7:30 p.m. on GBH 2 or live at the stream below. You can also watch on the GBH News YouTube channel. Subscribe to get notifications for future premiere episodes.