Home Nonviolent defense New Bedford Park renamed in honor of civil rights hero

New Bedford Park renamed in honor of civil rights hero

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City officials and community leaders gathered in New Bedford on Saturday to rename a park on Hillman and Ash Streets to honor civil rights hero and New Bedford resident Dr. Jibreel Khazan.

Khazan was born in North Carolina and lived there as a young adult. In February 1960, Khazan – then known as Ezell Blair, Jr. – participated in a lunch counter sit-in with three other men to protest segregation at a Woolworth department store in Greensboro, NC. North.

The protest went on for days and the actions of the “Greensboro Four” sparked more protests across the country. This led to Woolworth’s desegregation, the passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1960, the Interstate Commerce Commission ruling against segregation, and the first national public housing law in 100 years.

Khazan arrived in New Bedford in 1965 and worked as a teacher for the Rodman Job Corps. He co-founded the National Conference of Black Empowerment in 1966. He also worked as a teacher in Boston, programming coordinator for the AFL / CIO and as an advisor for the CETA program in New Bedford.

Organizers of Saturday’s event described Dr Khazan as a storyteller, oracle, oral historian and speaker. During remarks at the ceremony, Khazan described the people of New Bedford as a credit to America.

Khazan also received the Black Excellence on the Hill Award from State Representative Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford). The award recognizes leaders of the black community and pioneers in Massachusetts.

New Bedford Park renowned for civil rights hero

A New Bedford park was recently renamed in honor of town resident Dr Jibreel Khazan known as one of the “Greensboro Four” who in 1960 staged a sit-in protest at the counter. Woolworth’s meal in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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