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End of an era 9 July, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Tributes.
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Delaware Civil Rights Icon, Littleton Mitchell passed away in an auto accident Monday. The AP had this as an obituary.

Littleton Mitchell, 90, a Delaware civil rights activist, died Monday.

Mr. Mitchell, who was killed in a crash near his Delaware City home, was pronounced dead during surgery at an area hospital, state police said.

The crash occurred around 3 p.m. Monday when Mitchell’s Toyota Prius crossed the centerline and collided with a GMC Savana. The driver of the Savana was treated and released.

Mr. Mitchell, who served as a Tuskegee Airman, led the state NAACP chapter for more than 30 years and, along with his late wife, Jane, was a key figure in eliminating segregation in Delaware hospitals.

The Milford, Del., native was the first African American to teach white students in Delaware and labored to get the state police force to hire its first black trooper.

The AP obituary does not tell what made him special.. Instead of merely being happy with being first, he wanted to ensure that he wasn’t the last. Instead of allowing injustice to to embitter him, he led the way to marginalize the voices of anger and embrace the call of hope. Instead of trying to be a celebrity, he brought together a team and mentored others.

He served our country in War. He worked to advance it in peace. He is a true testament to the dignity that God allows the human spirit to reach. Sir, one final thank you for your service.

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