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Bynoe, Parks 'Sowed The Seeds' For Today's Leaders

This article is more than 10 years old.

Boston lost two men this month who were major players in advancing civil rights for minorities and building bridges across communities. They both served as leaders for the Boston chapter of the NAACP, which is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.

Paul Parks, a former city and state education official, died Aug. 1 at age 86. Then last week John Bynoe, who worked for the federal government and founded the Unity Bank and Trust Company, died at age 82.

Joyce Ferriabough, a longtime political strategist and Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus board member, said the civil rights leaders’ deaths mark a “passing of the era.”

“There will only be one John Bynoe, only one Paul Parks,” said Ferriabough, “but I think they set a standard, the bar, for which all of us moved forward to raise, and so we’ve had many successes because of the foundations that they’ve set.”

Ferriabough said Bynoe and Parks “sowed the seeds” for future leaders of color. She noted that many of this year’s Boston City Council candidates are African-Americans and Latinos.

“For quite a while, people were saying, ‘What’s happening in the communities of color? Why aren’t people running?’” said Ferriabough. “It just is so thrilling to have so many people of color deciding that they want to participate in the democratic process.”

This program aired on August 20, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Delores Handy Twitter Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.

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