Former legislator, teacher and community leader Lucius Black, Sr. dies at age 84

 

Lucius Black of York, AL, age 84, died on Thursday August 5, 2010.

 

Black, a lifelong resident of Sumter County, served in the Alabama House of Representatives for the District 71 covering Greene, Sumter, parts of Marengo and Tuscaloosa counties from 1983 until his retirement in 2006.

 Black was not only a politician, he was a community leader who   retired from Sumter County School System after more than 38 years of service, was a U.S. Navy Veteran of World War II,  and a member of Grants Chapel CME Church Cuba, AL.  where he served in many leadership capacities.

He served as a Board Member of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and helped with the construction of the Federation’s Rural Training Center in Epes, AL.

Service of memory was held Wednesday, August 11 at 11:00 A.M. at the church, Pastor Izea Blanks officiated, Mildred Black, Eulogist, with interment in Cagus Cemetery. His loving survivors are: devoted wife; Mrs. Mildred M.D. Black, three Sons; Urey Rufus, Lucius, Jr., and Don (Peggy) Black, three grandchildren; Ebony Eunice, Chad, and Kayla.

The remains lay in state on Tuesday from Noon until 5:00 P.M. at the Sumter County Courthouse in Livingston, AL.

During his lifetime, Black served his community in many ways.

He formed the York Federal Credit Union in 1966 and served as its Manager-Treasurer until 2003.

The credit union provided opportunity for African Americans to borrow money and caused the local banks which were not usually open in the afternoon to remain open. The credit union enhanced  the economic self-sufficiency of the young people in the community by offering jobs of a different caliber.

An educator himself, Black fought in the courts and the Legislature to improve the life of teachers in the public school system. He was instrumental in winning court cases which allows teachers to continue to teach while pregnant, played a big role in getting teachers to vote to approve Blue Cross insurance as a group in Sumter County, and was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Sumter County Board of Education during the Civil Rights crisis in the late 60’s.

He  paved the way for Black citizens to be admitted to the nursing homes in Sumter County. In a speech on the House Floor, he alerted African Americans to what was happening to their school administrators, thus causing failure of the state school take-over in 1983.

During his tenure, he affected the establishment and expansion of the towns of Epes, Gainesville, Emelle, Geiger, Eutaw, Forkland and Boligee, altered the state tax structure to enable Hill Hospital to receive funds for its medical program, and indigent patients, helped in the building of rural fire stations,  established a trust fund for Sumter County, spoke up for the funding  of cultural programs by the State of Alabama.

As a member of the Highway Committee he helped improve Alabama bridge construction, by bringing the plight of the people of West Alabama and introduced all county and city resolutions that were approved by the County Board of Commissioners, Boards of Education and/or city councils.  He also helped to improve volunteer fire departments and rescue squads, the state park systems and rural health programs.

He served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Chair of the Public Welfare Committee, Joint Transportation Committee, Commerce & Joint Transportation, Agriculture  & Forestry Committee and Local Legislation No. 1 Committee.

The Sanders-Black Apartments on Highway 43 in Eutaw are named for State Representative Rep. Lucius Black and State Senator Hank Sanders.

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