Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Frederick Douglass Foundation Celebrates the Life of Trailblazer Jim Polk

WASHINGTON DC - Timothy F. Johnson, Chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, as well as North Carolina FDF Chapter President Kevin Daniels today were saddened to hear the news that Jim Polk, a black trailblazer and mentor in North Carolina, had passed away at the age of 83.

Jim Polk served as minority affairs adviser to former NC Governor Jim Martin from 1988 to 1992. He also helped found the mayor's human relations committee in Charlotte in the late 1950s, which peacefully worked with local white businesses to help them open up to black customers.

"Jim Polk led the way for so many black conservatives here in North Carolina," said Timothy F. Johnson, who is also the Vice Chair of the NC GOP and the first black to hold a position of leadership in the state party. "He was truly a leader who chartered a path and fought for the advancement of all races, creeds, and colors. I was honored to call him my friend, and he will not be forgotten."

In the 1960s, Mr. Polk was the board chairman of the Charlotte Bureau on Employment, Placement and Training, an agency that cracked down on discrimination in the work place.

"Jim was a humble man who made many contributions to our community," said Kevin Daniels of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of North Carolina. "While he may be with God now, his legacy will live on through the people he's touched."

The viewing for Mr. Polk will be held this Thursday, August 5 at Friendship Baptist Church in Charlotte, followed by funeral services Friday at noon.

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