Thursday, October 18, 2012

In Memory of George Whitmore Jr.

Whitmore requested that he be cremated; his remains are in the urn on the table.
Today, George Whitmore was laid to rest. He was an important figure in the race history of New York City and the United States. And he was a good man.

I wrote about Whitmore's horrible ordeal at the hands of a racist criminal justice system, and the effect that had on his life, in an Op-ed article in the NY Times (link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/opinion/who-will-mourn-george-whitmore.html?hpw).

At a funeral parlor in Cape May Courthouse, NJ, I joined Whitmore's daughter, Regina, and his extended family of children and grandchildren. They asked me to speak, and I talked about how George's strength during his ordeal back in the 1960s and early 1970s helped shine a light on an UNJUST justice system. Whitmore paid a heavy price for what he was put through, but he died without bitterness or rancor.

If you don't know the story of George Whitmore, please read the NY Times article and also a recent obituary about Whitmore in the Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/nyregion/george-whitmore-jr-68-dies-falsely-confessed-to-3-murders-in-1964.html?pagewanted=all) Please spread the word, teach your children, friends and loved ones about this important episode in our shared civil rights history.

3 comments:

ryanloral said...

Was the family bitter at all at what their dad/grandfather went through? I'm sure they were aware of it, but did they really understand how much of an impact he had? Did some of them read the book?

TJ-ENGLISH.COM said...

Whitmore's children and grandchildren were scattered among different families. Few knew his story in detail. None had read the book, though they were aware of it, and at Whitmore's funeral service I brought books at the request of Whitmore's daughter Regina, a wonderful woman.

janice said...

I you to see George all the time as a matter of fact I did not realize he was the same George Whitmore that was involved in that murder case since I actually lived in Brooklyn at the time. I used to give George a ride all the time for the Shoprite to the Motel where he was staying in Rio Grande, NJ prior to his passing. He was a nice man who had a hard life and I only hope that he can now rest in peace.....