A civil rights hero

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As a lifelong dog lover, I applaud your coverage of police canine officer Rocco’s heroic death. I wonder, however, why so much less attention was given to the death of Wendell Freeland, who was a dogged hero of the civil rights movement.

Although fair enough to easily pass for white, Wendell maintained his Negro (later black and African-American) identity during his youth, when schools, lunch counters and even the military were segregated. Active at both the local and national levels of the Urban League, he was a leader in the public school desegregation and in the establishment of Neighborhood Legal Services. He often provided pro bono legal services to destitute prisoners.

The Post-Gazette’s news obituary (“Tuskegee Airman, Lawyer, Pioneering Civil Rights Leader,” Jan. 25) and editorial (“Passion for Activism: Wendell Freeland Was True to Every Mission,” Jan. 30) were excellent but insufficient to reflect the man whose memorial service filled Carnegie Music Hall, an event that should have merited a story in itself.

North Point Breeze

The writer was an employee or consultant to the Urban League of Pittsburgh for more than 40 years.

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