Chattanooga civil rights leader, James Mapp, dies at age 87 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga civil rights leader, James Mapp, dies at age 87

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A Chattanooga civil rights leader has died. James Mapp passed on Friday. He is known for serving as the NAACP President for decades, and leading the march to desegregate Chattanooga schools.

"Advocate for social justice, change in our community, champion for truth," said Rev. Kevin Adams, Pastor Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.

Mapp made his mark on Chattanooga in his 87 years, fighting for equality. "Education desegregation fight, the bill that he fought for and passed and just leading the NAACP," said Adams.

But through the years, he hit road blocks from those opposing his views. "To the point they tried to stop him in so many different ways," said Jesse Grimes. "Bombed his house, burning crosses in his yard and he never gave up," said Albert Grimes.

Jesse, Albert and Cleveland Grimes say they all grew up right next door to Mapp in a neighborhood filled with acceptance and love. "When trouble started arising, it made me aware because of color some people don't like you-which is something I'd never been taught," said Albert Grimes. "All that made me who I am today and I'll never forget him."

To them, Mapp was a friend, mentor, and second father to their whole family. "On our street all of the dad's meant so much and here on father's day when you think about, he is the next to last dad that we grew up with," said Cleveland Grimes.

Rev. Adams says Mapp's legacy will continue to live on through the lives of others. "I think it is incumbent on us as young leaders to now take the baton. He taught us the way and gave us very practical principals to follow and now we have to continue what he started."

Family will be receiving friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church. On Saturday a view will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., with the funeral following at 11 a.m.

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