Happy 93rd birthday, Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell (born Aug. 11, 1923)! Civil rights activist. Staff member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Close associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. O’Dell wrote for “Freedomways” magazine from its founding (1961) to its closing (1985). He was Chair of the Pacifica Foundation (funder of Pacifica Radio) from 1977 to 1997. During the 1950s, Jack was an unapologetic member of the Communist Party. At the time the CP was in the vanguard of groups working against racial discrimination. In the 1960s, when the FBI accused civil rights organizations of being infiltrated by communists, O’Dell was one of the people they were talking about. Jack currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., with his wife Jane Power, also a lifelong peace and justice activist.
~The Marginal Mennonite Society Heroes Series.

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