The late Reverend Leroy Bowman was the long-time distinguished pastor of First Baptist Church and the late Morris H. Blum was the founder of WANN radio in Annapolis, Maryland.
Over the years, Reverend Bowman’s Annapolis church hosted some of the best known activists of the twentieth and twentieth-first century. They included Rosa Parks, the mother of the modern day civil rights movement, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts and Dr. Cornell West among others. Reverend Bowman always insisted that his church was opened to everyone and he made it available for numerous community events. From the First Baptist Church, the late Delegate Kenny Webster launched his successful effort to have Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday become a holiday in the State of Maryland.
Morris H. Blum, like Reverend Bowman made his radio station accessible to the community. At the age of 16, he gave me a job as a host/moderator for a radio program called, “Community Viewpoint”, which allowed me to develop and hone skills that I would use years later.
I have many fond memories of dining with Reverend Bowman and my friend Mr. Blum, a philanthropist. It was my privilege and honor to sit at the table with these elderly and sage men. Words flowing from their lips were pearls of wisdom. Mr. Blum saying, “Eaten bread is so forgotten,” or the Reverend Bowman saying, “Don’t look good, be good.” Over the years, I have come to value those dinner conversations.
Suffice it to say, that people like Reverend Bowman and Mr. Blum are people who left an indelible mark in this community and on me. I remember once the three of us were at dinner, and I asked them “What legacy would you like to leave behind?” Both were in their nineties. Both were caught by surprise with that question. Each of them responded in ways that I have never forgotten. Reverend Bowman said that he wanted to be remembered as a “good man.” Mr. Blum, laughed and said, “I just want to be remembered.”
On this day, I want to salute two men, who were both “good” and worth remembering. Gone, but not forgotten.
A Luta Continua!
Carl Snowden is a political and civil rights leader in Annapolis.
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