John Conyers, the former Michigan democratic representative, was reported to have passed away today. The 90-year-old Conyers held the title of the longest-serving African American in the House in all of history.
As many may remember, Conyers was succeeded by the controversial Talib, who is the current representative of Detroit. She obtained the position after defeating Conyers, grandnephew, in the 2018 midterm elections.
Conyers fought for his country and his beliefs, having been a veteran of the Korean War. He was also known to be one of the co-founders of the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as serving for six years as chairman of the Oversight Committee in the House.
During his time in the House, Conyers is best remembered for his introduction of the bill that eventually signed into law, making Martin Luther King's birthday recognized as a national holiday. After female staffers came forward in 2017, claiming that he had sexually harassed them, Conyer’s resigned from his seat in the House. Conyers stood fast and denied any form of wrongdoing.
Having been one several politicians of a high-profile to be riddled with claims of sexual harassment, did nothing to take from his proven track record. Despite the scandal of the claims, the fact that he remained reliable and true to his stance on the debate of civil rights, made him into a political institution both in DC and back in his home of Detroit.
In 1964, Conyers won his house seat with only 108 votes. When he took his oath, he was only one of six black members of the House serving. From that year on, his races proved to become 50 years of dominance at the polls. Conyers was a star among the voters, as he routinely won his bids for election by more than 80 percent of the votes cast.
With his notoriety and loyalty of the voters, Conyers was able to be open with his opinion and speak his mind. He also used his gravitas to further issues on civil rights. In 1989 he introduced a bill that took a look at what has now become known as reparations. However, the bill never had the chance to see the light of day, as it died in the House subcommittee.
Conyers reportedly passed away at his home, from what is being ruled as natural causes. His wife and two sons survive him.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Will Conyers be remembered throughout history for his half a century of work for the people or for the sexual harassment claims that were filed against him?