Skip to main content

Leader of Minnesota delegation in March on Washington dies at 92

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Matthew Little, a prominent civil rights leader in Minnesota for the past 50 years, has died, the Star Tribune reports.

He died Sunday, his wife said, at the age of 92.

Little led the Minnesota delegation in the historic March On Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. More than 200,000 Americans gathered for the political rally, which culminated with the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

State DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin honored Little in a statement, saying he “worked alongside the greats in our party like Hubert Humphrey, Orville Freeman and Walter Mondale, among others, in the fight for equality, human rights and economic justice.”

“From serving as president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to fighting for equal education for all students to testifying in a lawsuit that ended with the Minneapolis Fire Department agreeing to hire 20 black firefighters, Matt played an important role in Minnesota’s history," Martin said.

Little, who retired from his NAACP post in 1993, was also a member of the state's electoral college.

According to MinnPost, Little cast his electoral vote in the historic 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Before that, he was an elector when Jimmy Carter became president, and cast electoral votes for Bill Clinton twice.

"But those all pale compared to (Obama),'' Little, then 86, told MinnPost. "I keep thinking this is a dream, and I'm afraid that any moment now, I'm going to wake up and it's going to be over.''

Little also recalled Obama's election, as well as the King, in a 2009 interview with the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

“I’m so enthralled by Barack (Obama), because I certainly believe it’s saying that (Obama’s election) is a fulfillment of that dream that Martin talked about in that hot August of 1963 in from of the Lincoln Memorial," he told the publication.

Little, who was born Aug. 21, 1921, in Washington, North Carolina, moved to Minnesota in 1948, the Star Tribune says.

He was still an active member of the African-American Leadership Council in St. Paul at the time of his death, the organization's chairman, Tyrone Terrill, said.

Next Up

police lights

On the lam since 2007, suspect in MN murder case arrested in Florida

The suspect is one of three men connected to a fatal drive-by shooting on St. Paul's West Side.

Deer on road

Motorcyclist in collision with deer dies from injuries

The 55-year-old from Princeton died at a hospital a day after the crash.

U9GqW_wM

Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.

michael carbo

Northern MN man found guilty in 1980s cold case murder

Nancy Daugherty was found dead in the afternoon hours of July 16, 1986.

Red Ox Cafe

Breakfast spot in Ham Lake closes after decades in business

The business posted an announcement on its front door.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 1.43.04 PM

St. Paul man killed partner, himself while their 5 kids were home

St. Paul confirmed the double shooting on Tuesday evening was murder-suicide.

Kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

Minnesota, Wisconsin kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

The contest is divided into kids and teens divisions.

ATV

One killed after being trapped under UTV near Alexandria

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the victim died at the scene.

image

What's in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden?

How the nation's biggest climate law will reduce emissions.

Patrick Henry High School

Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis will get new name

A school board meeting was held this week, discussing what's next going forward.

Mike Max

Mike Max is out at WCCO Radio

Max got his start at WCCO Radio in 1998.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

Uber passenger dies a week after fiery crash in St. Paul

Her Uber was struck by a suspected drunk-driver.

Related