Philadelphia is segregated and diverse, impoverished and affluent, corrupt and pristine. But even with all its contradictions, it is a better Philadelphia than it used to be, largely due to the efforts of legendary Daily News columnist Chuck Stone. He died Sunday at the age of 89.
In the coming days, you’ll read about his amazing life.
He was a navigator in the Tuskegee Airmen.
He traveled to India and Africa working for CARE.
He cultivated relationships with both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X.
He co-founded the National Association of Black Journalists, and opened doors so that writers like myself could walk through.
But my recollections of Stone aren’t rooted in his journalism career, his stint as a University of North Carolina professor or his two Pulitzer nominations.
My memories of Stone are pinned to a single, simple image — his face.
In 1972, when Stone became a political columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News, I was 5-years-old.
There was no Internet. There was only the newspaper, and the images on its pages could determine how an entire community was framed.
That’s why Stone’s image mattered. (To read more on Stone, visit Jones’ website.)