- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
name= Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
state= New York
Walter A. Lynch
Charles B. Rangel
date of birth=
November 29, 1908
place of birth=
New Haven, Connecticut
date of death=
April 4, 1972(age Age at date|1908|11|29|1972|04|04)
place of death=
Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (
November 29 1908– April 4 1972) was an American politician who represented Harlem, New Yorkin the United States House of Representativesbetween 1945 and 1971. He became chairman of the Education and Labor Committee in 1961. His tenure as committee chairman saw the passage of important social legislation.
Powell was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His father,
Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.was a Baptistminister and headed the Abyssinian Baptist Churchin Harlem, New York. His paternal grandfather was white, as were several of his mother's ancestors. He was educated at public schools, the City College of New Yorkand Colgate University. He received an MA degree in religious education from Columbia Universityin 1931.
During the Depression years, Powell, a handsome and charismatic figure, became a prominent
civil rightsleader in the Harlem area of Manhattanand developed a formidable public following in the Harlem community through his crusades for jobs and housing. As chairman of the Coordinating Committee for Employment, he organized mass meetings, rent strikes and public campaigns, forcing companies and utilities, and the Harlem hospital to hire black workers. Powell organized a picket line during the 1939 New York World's Fairat the Fair's executive offices in the Empire State Building; as a result, the number of black employees was increased from about 200 to 732 [ "Current Biography 1942, pp675-76 ] . A bus boycott in 1941 led to the hiring of 200 black workers by the transit authority. When Negro pharmacists were failing to get hired, Powell led a fight in 1941 to have drugstores in Harlem hire them all. [ Id. at 675 ]
In 1937 he succeeded his father as pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church. In 1941 he was elected to the
New York City Councilas the city's first Black council representative with the aid of New York City's use of the Single Transferable Vote.ref|NewYork He received 65,736 votes, the third best total among the six successful council candidates [ Id. p676 ]
"Mass action is the most powerful force on earth," Mr. Powell once said, adding, "As long as it is within the law, it's not wrong; if the law is wrong, change the law." According to analystsWho|date=August 2008, he landed in Washington as a Congressman armed with a mandate from the grassroots to make a differenceFact|date=August 2008.
In 1944 Powell was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives, representing the 22nd congressional district, which included
Harlem. He was the first black Congressman from New York, and the first from any Northern state other than Illinoisin the Post-Reconstruction Era.
As one of only two black Congressmen, Powell challenged the informal ban on black representatives using Capitol facilities reserved for members only. He took black constituents to dine with him in the "whites only" House restaurant. He clashed with the many segregationists in his own party.
In 1956 Powell broke party ranks and supported
Dwight D. Eisenhowerfor reelection, saying that the Democratic platform's civil rights plank was too weak.
In 1958 he survived a determined effort by the
Tammany Hallmachine to oust him in the Democratic primary election.
Powell's commitment to human rights was not universal. In 1960, Powell forced
Bayard Rustinto resign from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC) by threatening to discuss Rustin's "immoral" homosexualityin Congress.
In 1961, after 15 years in Congress, Powell became chairman of the powerful Education and Labor Committee. In this position he presided over federal programs for
minimum wageincreases, education and training for the deaf, vocational training and standards for wages and work hours, as well as aid to elementary and secondary education. He orchestrated passage of the backbone of President John Kennedy's " New Frontier" legislation. He would also become instrumental in the passage of President Lyndon B. Johnson's " Great Society" social programs.
Powell's committee passed a record number of bills for a single session. That record still remains unbroken. As one of the great modern legislators, Powell would steer some 50 bills through Congress.
He passed legislation that made lynching a federal crime and bills that desegregated public schools and the U.S. military. He challenged the Southern practice of charging Blacks a
poll taxto vote, and stopped racist congressmen from saying the word "nigger" in sessions of Congress.
By the mid-1960s Powell was being increasingly criticized for mismanagement of the committee budget, taking trips abroad at public expense, including travel to his retreat on the Bahamian isle of
Bimini, and missing sittings of his committee. He was also under fire in his district, where his refusal to pay a slander judgment made him subject to arrest. He spent increasing amounts of time in Floridaand displayed his wealth more than was wise for a Congressman representing a poor district.
In January 1967, following allegations that Powell had misappropriated Committee funds for his personal use and other corruption allegations, the House Democratic Caucus stripped Powell of his committee chairmanship. The full House refused to seat him until completion of an investigation by the Judiciary Committee. In March the House voted 307 to 116 to exclude him. Powell won the special election in April to fill the vacancy caused by his exclusion, but did not take his seat.
Powell sued in "
Powell v. McCormack" to retain his seat. In June 1969 the Supreme Court ruled that the House had acted unconstitutionally when it excluded Powell, a duly elected member, and he returned to the House, but without his seniority. Again his absenteeism was increasingly noted. [cite web|url=http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=395&invol=486|title=Supreme Court Decision in Powell v. McCormack]
In June 1970 he was defeated in the Democratic primary by
Charles B. Rangel, who has represented the area ever since. Powell failed to get on the ballot for the November election as an independent. He resigned as minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church and moved to Bimini.
In April 1972, Powell became gravely ill and was flown to a
Miamihospital from his home in Bimini. He died there on April 4, 1972at the age of 63, from acute prostatitis, according to contemporary newspaper accounts. A few days later, his ashes were carried aloft by a plane and scattered over his beloved Bimini.
His first wife was nightclub entertainer Isabelle Washington (sister of actress
Fredi Washington). Her son Preston, from a previous marriage, was adopted by Powell.
Powell and his second wife, the singer
Hazel Scott, had a son, Adam Clayton Powell III. Adam Clayton Powell III is Vice Provost for Globalization at the University of Southern Californiaand one of the world's leading authorities on the use of the Internet for journalists.
Powell and his third wife, Puerto Rican Yvette Diago Powell, had a son Adam Clayton Powell Diago. This son changed his name to Adam Clayton Powell IV (causing confusion, because his nephew, who is only 8 years younger than he, already had the name of Adam Clayton Powell IV) when he became a member of the
New York State Assembly.
Adam Clayton Powell Jr's second son, Adam Clayton Powell III, named his son Adam Clayton Powell IV. Adam, IV, the politician, has a son Adam V, who is currently a champion swimmer at Columbia University in New York.
Powell was the subject of the 2002 cable television film "
Keep the Faith, Baby", starring Harry Lennixas Powell and Vanessa L. Williamsas his second wife, jazz pianist, Hazel Scott. The film debuted on February 17, 2002 on premium cable network Showtimeand was a production of Showtime and Paramount Network Television. It garnered three NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Television Movie, Outstanding Television Actor in a TV Movie (Lennix) and Outstanding Television Actress in a TV Movie (Williams). It won two NAMIC Vision Awards (cable executives) for Best Drama and Best Actor (Lennix). Williams also earned a Best Actress in a TV Movie Golden Satellite Award from the International Press Association. The film was the brainchild of Adam Clayton Powell IV and his campaign manager, Geoffrey L. Garfield. Powell, IV and his half brother, Adam, III, were credited as Co-Producers of the biopic. [ [http://www.adamclaytonpowell.com/ Adam Clayton Powell website] , maintained to promote the movie biopic, "Keep the Faith, Baby".]
Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement
*cite book | title = Adam by Adam: The Autobiography of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr | author = Adam Clayton Powell, Jr | publisher = Kensington Publishing | year = 2002 | id = ISBN 0-7582-0195-8
*cite book | title = Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.: The Political Biography of an American Dilemma | author = Charles V. Hamilton | publisher = Cooper Square Publishers | year = 2002 | id = ISBN 0-8154-1184-7
*cite book | title = Congressional Committee Chairmen: Three Who Made an Evolution | author = Andrée E. Reeves | publisher = University Press of Kentucky | year = 1993 | id = ISBN 0-8131-1816-6
*cite book | title = Adam's Belle: A Memoir of Love Without Bounds| author = Isabel Washington Powell and Joyce Burnett| publisher = DBM Press, LC | year = 2008 | id = ISBN 978-0-9816102-1-4
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Adam Clayton Powell Jr. — Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (né le 20 novembre 1908 et mort le 4 avril 1972) était un homme politique américain, qui fut le premier afro américain à devenir un membre influent du Congrès. Il fut élu à la Chambre des… … Wikipédia en Français
Adam Clayton Powell — can refer to:*Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. (1865 ndash;1953), pastor *Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908 ndash;1972), politician and civil rights leader *Adam Clayton Powell III (born 1946), son of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Hazel Scott *Adam Clayton… … Wikipedia
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Adam Clayton Powell IV (politician) — Adam Clayton Powell IV (born in 1962), son of Civil Rights leader and former congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is a member of the New York State Assembly. The controversial Assemblyman has been involved in various litigation s in which the… … Wikipedia
Adam Clayton Powell III — (born July 17, 1946 to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Hazel Scott) is Vice Provost for Globalization at the University of Southern California. Previously, he was Director of the [http://imsc.usc.edu/ Integrated Media Systems Center] , the National… … Wikipedia
Adam Clayton Powell IV (engineer) — Adam Clayton Powell IV (born 1970) is a materials engineer focusing on understanding the formation and evolution of materials microstructure during processing and service. He is best known for his work in electrochemistry [ cite journal last1 =… … Wikipedia
Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr. — (1908 1972) Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. moved to New York City with his family in 1909. After briefly attending City College, he graduated from Colgate College in 1930 and completed a master’s degree in religious… … Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era
Powell, Adam Clayton,Jr. — Pow·ell (pouʹəl), Adam Clayton, Jr. 1908 1972. American politician. A U.S. representative from New York (1945 1967 and 1969 1971), he was an outspoken advocate of civil rights. * * * … Universalium
Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr. — born Nov. 29, 1908, New Haven, Conn., U.S. died April 4, 1972, Miami, Fla. U.S. politician. In 1937 he succeeded his father as pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York City, and built its membership to 13,000. Elected to the… … Universalium
Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr. — (29 nov. 1908, New Haven, Conn., EE.UU.–4 abr., 1972, Miami, Fla.). Político estadounidense. En 1937 sucedió a su padre como pastor de la Iglesia bautista abisinia, en Harlem, Nueva York, y aumentó su feligresía a 13.000 personas. Elegido en 1941 … Enciclopedia Universal