Civil rights leader Matthew Little honored and remembered - KMSP-TV

Civil rights leader Matthew Little honored and remembered

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People from all across Minnesota came together to honor civil rights leader Matthew Little. The ceremony was held at the Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis and included political and civic leaders. His friends considered him a humble and courageous man who led by example, and respected people from all walks of life.

Governor Mark Dayton was on hand to honor Little who came to Minnesota after escaping the discrimination of the south only to confront it.

"I was deeply offended by the horrible injustices Matt endured," said Governor Dayton. "Not you're totally free. Free for eternity."

Little passed away from complications of pneumonia at age 92, but he left behind a giant legacy. After coming to Minnesota he passed all required exams to join the Minneapolis Fire Department with flying colors yet was rejected. He could have been angry, but instead took action and filed a lawsuit in federal court opening the door for the hiring of African Americans and people of color to the department. Today, 32 percent of its staff is made up of people of color. He didn't stop there. He was a member of the state executive committee and served as a four term elector of the U-S Electoral College.

"A deserved reward for a life so well lived," said Governor Dayton. Who at the ceremony declared February 1st as Matthew Little day in Minnesota.

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