Public Memorial Service or Timuel D. Black, Jr Set for Dec. 5

Public memorial for Timuel D. Black, Jr., Chicago’s centenarian, civil rights warrior, author, teacher, lecturer and historian will be held on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Governor J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are confirmed speakers. The program begins at 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 3:00 p.m.  The service will be held at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. The event will be live streamed in its entirety and a link will be publicly available. To watch the memorial virtually, please use this link:

COVID safety protocol includes showing proof of vaccination or COVID test within the previous 72 hours.

The program will open with a traditional African ancestor salute with African drumming and dance, followed by libations and an interfaith prayer. Musical offerings include Chicago Jazz Philharmonic co- founder trumpeter Orbert Davis’ Quartet; vocalist Tammy McCann; Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Ensemble; jazz vocalists Maggie and Africa Brown and Dee Alexander; and gospel diva Cathy Townsend with young divo Ajene Cooks, accompanied by pianist Robert Irving III.

A private funeral service for Timuel Black, Jr., was held for invited guests Oct. 22 at First Unitarian Church of Chicago. The Dec. 5 memorial service will be open to the public.

Tim’s 103rd birthday would have been Dec. 7, 2021. He passed away Oct. 13, 2021.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Rockefeller Chapel, the site of the Dec. 5 memorial service, on April 13, 1956, at Tim’s invitation:


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