DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Tim Ryan
Sent By:
Krystal.Milam@mail.house.gov

Cosponsors (38): Joyce Beatty, Andre Carson, David Cicilline, Yvette Clarke, Wm. Lacy Clay, Steve Cohen, Elijah Cummings, Adriano Espaillat, Marcia Fudge, Raul Grijalva, Josh Harder, Alcee Hastings, Sheila Jackson
Lee, Bill Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, David Joyce, Robin Kelly, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Al Lawson, Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal, Gregory Meeks, Gwen Moore, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bill Pascrell,
Mark Pocan, Jamie Raskin, Bobby Rush, Janice Schakowsky, Bobby Scott, Terri Sewell, Adam Smith, Bennie Thompson,
Michael Turner, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Frederica Wilson

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in support of legislation to posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to Simeon Booker, a legendary journalist and civil rights icon, in recognition of his pioneering achievements in journalism and his dedication
to documenting untold stories of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War.

Born in Baltimore, MD, and raised in Youngstown, OH, Mr. Booker began his journalism career covering Negro Baseball League games in his hometown newspaper. He was the first African American to win the Newspaper Award for his series
on slum housing and the Willkie Award for his reporting on racial inequality in public schools. In 1950, he became the first full-time black reporter at The Washington Post.

Early in his career, Mr. Booker risked his life to advance the cause of civil rights through his reporting. In 1955, his coverage of the Emmett Till murder, funeral, and trial turned a local tragedy into a national turning point.
His stories chronicled the Montgomery bus boycott, the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, and the march from Selma to Montgomery. In 1961, Mr. Booker was the only journalist to embed with the Freedom Riders on their interstate bus trip through
the Deep South. When they were ambushed and firebombed by the Ku Klux Klan, he called Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to arrange an air rescue.

As a reporter for Ebony and JET magazines, Mr. Booker traveled twice to Vietnam to interview black soldiers on the front lines, collecting firsthand accounts of the racial turmoil within the newly-integrated U.S. military. Despite
the dangers, his commitment to documenting African-American casualties and the experience of black servicemen in the Vietnam War never wavered.

Throughout his illustrious career, Mr. Booker interviewed presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary, Cabinet officials, and foreign ambassadors. He authored two highly-acclaimed books, Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s
Account of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Man’s America. Until his retirement in 2007, he covered every presidential election since 1952.

For over 60 years, Simeon Booker dedicated his life to chronicling the struggle for freedom and equality in the face of violence and oppression. He passed away in December 2017 at age 99.

To cosponsor this legislation, please contact Krystal Delores Milam at
Krystal.Milam@mail.house.gov. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

TIM RYAN

Member of Congress

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