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Celebrating Harold Washington

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Yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of Harold Washington’s death. Washington became Chicago’s first African-American mayor in 1983. He died of a heart-attack shortly after winning re-election. Religious leaders gathered at The Chicago Temple to remember his legacy.

Heads of Islamic, Jewish and Catholic groups joined Jesse Jackson Senior and Philip Blackwell to remember Washington’s life. Speakers focused on his ‘one big tent’ philosophy of political inclusiveness. Doctor Esmail Koushanpour directs the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago. He remembered Washington’s death, and legacy.

KOUSHANPOUR: His leadership set an example for all of us about what can be accomplished in an inclusive democracy. And we have the responsibility to continue to work to make Chicago a model for peaceful coexistence.

The prayer service marked the start of the “Harold Washington Commemorative Year.” For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Jessy Bradish.

Listen to the full memorial service here.

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