Conrad Worrill, champion of black struggle, ‘ultimate teacher,’ has died at 78

Conrad Worrill, champion of black struggle, ‘ultimate teacher,’ has died at 78

Conrad Worrill. | Bob Black / Sun-Times file

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Chance the Rapper, chef Cliff Rome among those paying tribute.

Conrad Worrill, one of Chicago’s best-known political activists and a champion of the black struggle, has died at 78.

He was a key figure in the election of Mayor Harold Washington, backed reparations for slavery and, as a professor at Northeastern Illinois University, educated people on black history and helped build the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies.

Mr. Worrill saw the people of the African diaspora as a pan-African source of power and pride.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing: “#DrConradWorrill, my brother beloved; a civil rights leader, track star, a moving force in Mayor Harold Washington’s campaign and who led the drive for a track and field stadium on the South Side. He meant so much to so many. I miss him so much already. RIP.”

So did Chance the Rapper : “RIP to the great Chicago legend Dr. Conrad Worrill . . . Your activism and organizing efforts will not forgotten. We need a new National United Black Front, and we’re well overdue for another MILLION MAN MARCH!!”

“He was a link to our history,” said Cliff Rome, a friend who is the owner of Peach’s restaurant, 4652 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. “He was the ultimate teacher.”

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