In Memory of Samuel Levi Adams, Sr.

Memorial Speech
Type: 
News

Eulogy given by Ruth Vogel:

Former Torrance League President, Carol Adams Smith’s Dad, Samuel Levi Adams, Sr., passed away & she will be in Georgia @ his Celebration of Life today. I would like to briefly remember & honor his life w/you today.

Carol was 1st elected LWVT President, 1997-2000 & then in 2005 she came back to be Co- President w/Barbara Barker & Linda Brown. In 1997, her 1st term, I came back on LWVT Board to work with her. In Feb. 2001, I organized a LWVT Panel Discussion Program @ the KG Library in observance of the newly enacted Black History Month w/the theme of “How Far Have We come on the Civil Rights Journey.” Carol spoke @ that time of her own experience as a child in the integration of the South & as part of an activist family in that movement. Her Dad, Samuel Adams, was our lead speaker @ that meeting.

Samuel Adams was the grandson of slaves, who went on to become a noted award-winning journalist, an educator @ five universities, a national political consultant, a civil rights activist & also started the 1st radio newscast on the nation’s 1st black-owned station in Atlanta,Georgia. He was a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr., Supreme Court Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and 1972 presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, just to name a few.

Earlier in his life, he received his Bachelor’s degree in English & Fine Arts, another Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Wayne State University, & a Masters Degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. Aside from being a noted scholar & journalist, he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism...a finalist in 1964 & a nominee in 1965.

At our 2001 LWVT meeting, John Bogart, then feature columnist for the Daily Breeze interviewed Carol & her Dad @ Carol’s home, came to our meeting & then wrote a wonderful column about the League meeting & Samuel Adams.

Palos Verdes Peninsula News columnist also wrote: “Samuel Adams speech touched the hearts of all, to the surprise of some in the mostly white audience.

PS.. In Feb. 2002, we held another public mtg & Torrance AAUW & The Human Relations Forum of Torrance joined w/us to present a panel discussion on “How to Balance Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis.” Afterwards, LWVT received an official letter of Thanks & Commendation from Jane Harmon, then a member of Congress, representing our 38th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. I have the original & copies of all of this in my personal file, (which I had stored in a box in my garage all these years) & I will be happy to share them w/ LWVTA in any historical file for safekeeping & for the future.

League to which this content belongs: 
Torrance Area