Re the Dec. 17 obituary Miami community activist Robert Simms dies at 87 in Alabama: Bob Simms was a role model to the black men of his time. Bob is best described as a warrior, a word often associated with images of power, confidence, accomplishment, integrity, chivalry, honor and integrity.
Starting when he was athletic director at all-black Carver High School in Coconut Grove and continuing through his extraordinary service as a pioneering leader and unwavering paragon of power and respect in Miami, Bob made it clear that high principles and courage do prevail against weapons of indifference and intimidation.
He earned his leadership credentials by the force of his character and presence. When he was called upon by a desperate cadre of downtown business and civic leaders to help quell the disturbance following police officers’ acquittal in the death of Arthur McDuffie in 1980, Bob quickly and quietly convened forums within the black community where people felt comfortable venting their feelings, while nevertheless committing themselves to obtaining peace in the streets of Miami.
Bob succeeded because he taught us to bargain, not beg; to discuss remedies, not just dialogue and whine; to stand upright, and not bow to risk or threats of injustice; to trust only those who were trustworthy; and to understand the beauty of our Afrocentric heritage.
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We are grateful that he passed our way. He touched the lives of many black men, and he made us better.
George F. Knox, Port St Lucie