Longtime People’s Organization for Progress activist, Darrell Graham has died in NJ

Newark, NJ – It is with deep sympathy and a very heavy heart that I must report that Darrell Graham, Chair of the People's Organization for Progress' Anti-Violence Committee, made his transition on January 11, 2013. He was 58 years old.
 
Born on December 9, 1954, Darrell was a strong warrior for liberation, a Pan Afrikanist and someone who embraced African history and the struggles of African people with every fiber of his life.
 
He simply could not tolerate injustice anywhere and worked hard to fight against the oppression of all people.
 
He especially made it his mission and life's work to reach out to the youth and to make ending the epidemic of violence that is plaguing so many in our communities a number one priority in the liberation struggle.
 
Many were the times when he would hear about someone in the community being gunned down, or being victimized by some other indiscriminate act of violence and he would get out of his bed in the middle of the night to investigate or offer comfort to their families.
 
He would often lament about how painful it was to attend the funerals of so many young people, but in an effort to demonstrate love and to show solidarity to their families, he made a point of always attending.
 
He believed in the power of words, he literally carried one strong and powerful message with him everywhere he went – "Stop the Violence."
 
He had The People's Organization for Progress emblazon that message on signs and he would carry those signs with him wherever he went, posting them all throughout the neighborhoods that he frequented.
 
They were posted in stores, on fences, in schools and at the shrines of so many people whose lives were felled to violence.
 
Additionally, he worked with many others in Newark and the surrounding communities who were also doing tremendous work around this issue.
 
He lent his support to many youth summits and was instrumental in initiating dialogue and truces among those who were engaged in gang activities.
 
He also loved working as a crossing guard for the township of Union, New Jersey because he saw that as another way of staying connected to the youth and of imparting strong messages to them.
 
It was not uncommon for him to greet them with a black power sign or with the messages, "Black Power" and "Power to the People."
 
Darrell Graham, you are irreplaceable and for all of those who had the wonderful opportunity of knowing you, you stood among the strongest and the most courageous.
 
Quite simply, being counted as one of your friends was an honor. You hold such a warm spot in the hearts of so many. And while you will truly be missed, your presence will always be felt among those who choose to walk the path of righteousness.
 
Take your seat among the greatest of our ancestors and know that you served your time with us well and that you truly made a remarkable difference in all of our lives.
 
 
The wake will be on Thursday, January 17th, 7-9pm, Perry's Funeral Home, 34 Mercer Street, Newark, New Jersey (973)824-9201.
 
The funeral will be Friday, January 18th, 1:00 pm, also at Perry's Funeral Home.
 
 
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