Dorothy Tillman

Dorothy Tillman

Politician Less

Dorothy Tillman

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Dorothy J. Tillman (born May 12, 1947) is a former Chicago alderman in the 3rd Ward (). A member of the Democratic Party, she represented part of the city's South Side in the Chicago City Council. As an Alderman, Tillman was a strong advocate of reparations for slavery. In April 2007, she was defeated in a runoff election by challenger Pat Dowell. Tillman defeated Dowell in 2003. Prior to her career as an alderman, Tillman was active in the civil rights movement, working for Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) as an activist.

Tillman was known for wearing large hats and has cultivated this image as her trademark

Civil rights activities

Dorothy Tillman was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1947. She joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) as a trainee and field staff organizer in 1963. Tillman marched with King and was among the SCLC Field Staff to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in the Selma to Montgomery marches on 7 March 1965.

She had her first involvement in Chicago politics later in 1965 when King sent her there to campaign for better housing, education and employment conditions for blacks. This campaign marked the start of King's effort to improve socio-economic conditions for blacks. Tillman was involved in organizing King's move into a Chicago tenement in early 1966 and the launch of his campaign in July 1966.

While in Chicago, Tillman met her husband, blues drummer Jimmy Lee Tillman. The Tillmans...
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