Judi Ann Mason

"Everyone seems to pay attention in February," Judi Ann Mason, the playwright and television writer, said of Black History Month. But what Mason, who died July 8 at age 54, wanted people to understand was that black history happens every day. She once said that as a child growing up in the 1960s South, she failed to appreciate the strides black leaders were making for racial equality--Thurgood Marshall wearing the robes of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Shirley Chisholm legislating in Congress, Martin Luther King Jr. toiling tirelessly in the struggle for civil rights.

Mason did her own part to blaze...

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