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Cunningham, Raoul, 1943-

Biography:

"Raoul Cunningham, born in 1943, began his career in civil rights work as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council at age 14, helping with voter registration. His first nonviolent direct action was picketing Louisville's Brown Theater, which would not honor the tickets of young black students who wanted to see Porgy and Bess. Cunningham began recruiting other young people to the cause, and, after careful planning, they began picketing at an ever-expanding number of lunch counters and restaurants in downtown Louisville where African Americans were refused service. Their "Nothing New for Easter" campaign paved the way for black customers to be able to try on clothes in downtown Louisville stores. As a Howard University student, Cunningham continued in civil rights work by organizing a Young Democrats chapter. He was also president of the District of Columbia Federation of College Young Democrats and vice president of the Young Democrats Club of America. When he returned to Louisville, Cunningham managed the successful campaign to elect Georgia Davis Powers to the Kentucky Senate. He has been involved in government and politics ever since, interweaving civil rights, nonviolence, and better-government issues into his own efforts to get more people who are committed to racial justice into the electoral process."--Living the Story Web site.

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