Apr. 28, 2020
Parren J. Mitchell April 29, 1922
Being from Baltimore I learned about the Mitchell family legacy as a young boy. Why? Because every Tuesday and Friday the Baltimore Afro American Newspaper was delivered to my home. I always enjoyed reading and I gobbled up each section of the Afro and more times than not there was an article concerning the work of the Mitchell’s working to tear down the barriers of segregation and racial oppression in Maryland, and across the nation. I knew these names before I ever had a chance to meet this individuals in real life, Clarence Mitchell Sr., Parren Mitchell and Juanita Jackson Mitchell.
Today, I celebrate the birthday of the late great Congressman Parren Mitchell who was born 98 years ago on April 29, 1922. Parren Mitchell’s life was dedicated to the upheaval of racial injustice and bigotry. Parren Mitchell once said in a speech in 1989 the following: “If you believe in fighting racism, you make a commitment for the rest of your life.” Well, for the better part of 7 decades Parren Mitchell fought the good fight to deliver the battle plans against racism.
Parren Mitchell was a honored World War 2 veteran who came back from European War Theatre committed to ending the bigotry that existed in the nation he bled for. He along with his brother Clarence played pivotal roles in garnering support for the absolute destruction of Jim Crow policies. The Mitchell legacy in Baltimore cannot be tarnished by acts of anyone because the Mitchell legacy is a national legacy grounded in the foundation of delivering service with sacrifice. I’ve always wondered why my Alma Mater, Morgan State University never placed a statue similar to Frederick Douglass’s statue to honor one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the very first federally elected official in the state, Parren Mitchell. You see Parren Mitchell was one of Morgan’s own. He served the black communities impeccably and with honor. The media attempted various times to soil his image but those who knew Mr. Mitchell understood the aims of those negative attempts.
So today I honor Parren Mitchell and I ask Morgan State University’s President, David Wilson and the Morgan Board of Trustees to place a statue of Parren J. Mitchell on the campus facing the library. Why? Because Mr. Mitchell’s life was all about uplift and never wasting a minute in achieving it.