10th District-Social Action Honoring Richard Hatcher-Alpha Chi
November 4th, 2017
Brother Daryl James/Reporter to the Oracle
On Saturday, November 4, 2017 Brother Victor Thornton of the Alpha Chi Chapter presented former Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher with a plaque during the 50th anniversary ceremony honoring Hatcher’s historic election as the first African American to be elected as mayor of a major American City. The event was held at the West Side Academy Theater in Gary, Indiana. The event was hosted by Chicago Windy City Live personality Val Warner. Keynote speakers of the event included, the Rev. Jessie Jackson, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and Johnny Ford. Singer Denise Williams provided some entertainment. The evening also featured video tributes from the National Urban League, NAACP, and African American lawmakers across the country, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters from California.
Richard Hatcher served for twenty years as mayor of the City of Gary. Hatcher became a national and international advocate for minorities, civil rights, and poor people in American cities. During his tenure as mayor, Hatcher was elected president of the United States Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of Black Mayors, National League of Cities, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. Hatcher is the current Board Chairman and President of the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
During the Presidential Primary of 1984, Hatcher served as National Chairman of the Jackson for President Campaign and during the 1988 Presidential Primary he served as the National Vice Chairman of the Jackson for President Campaign. Hatcher served as a Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Politics and in 1996 he taught a course at Cambridge University in England. Hatcher was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine. Hatcher is the author of numerous articles addressing urban affairs, civil rights, politics and law. Hatcher’s election ushered in an era of Black Power in Gary, Indiana and the United States of America. Hatcher convened the 1972 National Black Political Convention that resulted in thousands of African Americans being elected to offices throughout the country.