The recent demise of Norman R. Seay is another great loss to our communities’ legendary civil rights leadership team. He was a true warrior for freedom, equality and civil rights whom I stood with many times as we confronted the bigotry and oppression of segregation in St. Louis. He was a true hero in this community who suffered and sacrificed much for the cause of civil rights and equal opportunity.
Norman was an icon in the struggle for equality and fair play. He earned his induction into the decency Hall of Fame in the struggle to bring equality of opportunity to individuals and groups long marginalized in their efforts to achieve basic citizenship rights.
Norman was there for the many marches, sit-ins, prayer vigils, anti-war demonstrations. He was always in the lead brigade, exerting experienced leadership in every battle fought to improve the quality of life for those discriminated against.
Norman was fearless, and his courage inspired others, including me. Few St. Louisans have given so much, and paid such a terrible price, to make our community and our nation better. St. Louis has lost a civil rights champion, and I have lost a dear friend.
Norman R. Seay epitomized an unshakeable belief that minorities had a unique and manifest destiny to force the fulfillment of the “All men are created equal” concept.
I can honestly say that Norman R. Seay’s life is a metaphor of what a life of dedication and determination can be for others to follow and imitate.
William (Bill) Clay is a retired U.S. congressman from St. Louis and civil rights activist.