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Bringing a hero to light

September 05, 2009

Re "An unlikely, unsung civil rights champion," Opinion, Aug. 28

I was heartened to read about T.R.M. Howard and his lifelong passion and action for civil rights.

Specifically, to read about the large part he played in keeping the brutal slaying of 14-year-old Emmett Till in the news (and after a jury acquitted two white men of the 1955 killing, in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise).

I'm also heartened that David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito care enough to research and study such important history.

Who knew that Howard had spoken at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., when a largely unknown pastor named Martin Luther King Jr. was the official host, and that Rosa Parks was in the audience? A few days later, she said, she was thinking of Howard's speech and Till when she refused to give up her seat on that segregated bus.

And, gasp, Howard was a Republican and a businessman, as well as a staunch feminist whose clinics offered safe abortions before Roe vs. Wade.

Thank you to the Beitos for their scholarship, and to The Times for publishing them.

Lola Terrell

Los Angeles

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