Viewing page 5 of 292

[[23 images, portraits of people]]

This Issue Is Dedicated To C. Melvin Patrick 

By Cathy Connors

With profound sorrow and in solemn tribute, this 1986 Annual Delegate issue is dedicated, In Memoriam; to Melvin Cuthbert Patrick, inventive founder of this publication, prolific editor, and astute publisher. 

Mel Patrick departed this life suddenly and without warning, May 14, 1985, from post-operative traumas following eye surgery. His immediate family and his national family of friends mourn this loss to the world of Black American leadership and organizational strength as well as to the world of publishing. Once more, as survivors, all, the fragility of life and its indelicate balance is articulated. As William Shakespeare said: "What fates impose, that men must needs abide." 

For twenty years, Melvin C. Patrick guided Delegate Magazine from a fledgling infant at birth in 1965 to a healthy, 465-page, perfect bound, publication distributed to convention delegates on site. A conversation piece among convention-goers, the scrapbook format served to showcase the individuals who are delegates to national sessions, their leaders pictured on the cover. 

Why would a publication such a Delegate prove to be a successful publishing venture, one may ask. For years, Mel Patrick, from his personal experiences and professional vantage points in the media, recognized a need for this publication. He knew that organizational life strengthed [[strengthened]] the Black community of America and he knew, too, that it provided the connecting tissue between us, strengthening our concerted efforts to achieve equal between us, strengthening our concerted efforts to achieve equal opportunity and racial equity in America.
His instincts sharpened with years in the Black press, he knew keenly the impact of Black organizations meeting in convention upon the travel and leisure industry, the beverage and food sector, the sightseeing and entertainment components. He also knew the sight seeing and entertainment components. He also knew that Black meetings each year reached for national spokespersons to deliver keynote addresses, lead workshops and seminars, and often receive from each, large contributions and donations to lead the fight for social and economic justice. 

For these reasons, Mel Patrick decided to realize his dream. He put his team together and published his first issue in 1965, knowing that if managed properly he could create an annual vehicle to review the passing parade and to chronicle the activities of America's Black leaders and organizations, and, at the same time, support the business firms whose social responsibility programs undergird the good works of Black programs. 

Delegate Magazine was born during the civil rights struggles. In 1965 the New York World's Fair had entered its second year of profitability — and it proved to be a significant moneymaker for the Big Apple. Black organizations and individuals spent their money in New York and at the Fair. A total of 1.4 billion dollars filled the city's pockets. Conventions number 1,035 in 1964, and tripled in number in 1965 as Delegate went to press. 

The Fair employed 10,000 people before it opened, and this figure increased to 30,000 during its two-year duration. Individual purchasing power in the city's stores, restaurants, and theaters reached astronomical figures. 

But life was hardly serene at the time. Race riots flared awesomely in 1964. Both Manhattan and Brooklyn were scenes of unrest. And The New York World's Fair was hardly unscathed. Roy Inniss and the Congress of Racial Equality demonstrated for jobs and equity in 1964. The Black population of America still smarted over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and over the terrible violence in the south after the peaceful 1963 March on Washington. Four little girls lost their lives when a church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed only days after the stirring March where the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech. Lyndon Johnson was 

Continued on page 255

Transcription Notes:
Paragraph 4: Transcription was "strengthened", but original document is "strengthed"

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact