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Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II

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Information about Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II

Profile image of Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist
Newspaper Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Ribs
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Favorite Quote:
It is enough to make a Negro turn black!

Birthplace

Born:
3/28/1922
Birth Location:
Newport News, Virginia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist
Newspaper Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Ribs
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Favorite Quote:
It is enough to make a Negro turn black!

Birthplace

Born:
3/28/1922
Birth Location:
Newport News
See how Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Called the godfather of Chicago black political activism, Lutrelle Fleming "Lu" Palmer, Jr. was born March 28, 1922, in Newport News, Virginia, to Myrtle and Lutrelle, a school principal. While his two older sisters opted for careers in education, Palmer became a journalist when he arrived in Chicago in 1950 with a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. "The Panther with a pen" spent fifty years galvanizing and informing the black community as a reporter, syndicated columnist, newspaper publisher and radio commentator. From 1983 until his retirement in 2001, Palmer hosted an issues-oriented talk show.

Palmer came to Chicago in 1950 as a reporter for the Chicago Defender. He wrote for other newspapers, including the Chicago Daily News, where he also served as a syndicated columnist and editor for the Nashville, Tennessee, based Tri-State Defender. He founded the Black X-Press Info-Paper in Chicago. He was a recruiter, organizer and preceptor for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest from 1970 to 1990.

Sometimes Palmer's positions caused him to quit or lose a job. Illinois Bell canceled its sponsorship of Palmer's twelve-year old radio show in 1983 when he became an outspoken supporter of Harold Washington, who, with Palmer's help, became Chicago's African American mayor. As a community activist, he founded the Chicago Black United Communities in 1979, the Black Independent Political Organization in 1981, and served as chairman of the Extended Services Program for the Group Living Facilities for Boys in 1998-all of which are still in existence.

Palmer's scores of honors include: Chicago State University Black Writers' Hall of Fame, induction into the Black Journalists Hall of Fame, the Jomo Kenyatta Award for Political Activism, the Outstanding Service/ Community Information Award, Grambling State's Outstanding Service Award, Bell Labs' Black Achievement Against the Odds Award, 1982, and the Proclamation of Unity Award, 1976.

Palmer received a journalism degree from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia in 1942 and a master's degree from Syracuse University in 1948. He and his wife, Jorja English Palmer, lived in Chicago's South Side. They have seven children. Palmer passed away on September 12, 2004.

See how Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lu Palmer interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer remembers his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer discusses his father's career in education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lu Palmer recalls his early life in Newport News, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer shares memories of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer discusses the impact that his father had on their community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer shares some memories of growing up in Newport News, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer talks about his relationship with his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lu Palmer reflects on his years in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lu Palmer talks about attending college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer talks about his involvement in social activities while in college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer shares details about his time in the Army Special Service singing group
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer reflects on his time at Syracuse University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer talks about attending the University of Iowa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lu Palmer talks about his early work with black newpapers and decision to work for the white press
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer discusses the racism he experienced while writing for 'Chicago's American' and the 'Chicago Daily News'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer talks about starting a radio show and newspaper
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer discussses some of the issues he faced while trying to print his newpaper
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer talks about the columnists for The Black X-Press'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer talks about his black nationalist perspective of his paper
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer reflects on the civil rights movement and identifies issues of concern within the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer talks about his radio show, 'Lu's Notebook'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer discusses his involvement in the campaign for the first black school board president in Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer explains how CBUC began its campaign for an African American mayor of Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer discusses choosing a black candidate to run for mayor of Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer explains how he helped Harold Washington run for mayor of Chicago
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Second slating of Lu Palmer
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer reflects on the mayoralty of Harold Washington
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer talks about his activism in the Wallace Davis police brutality case
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer considers his legacy and shares other thoughts