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Posted April 29, 2013

Mrs. Maxine A. Smith, Civil Rights Veteran, Memorial Service Slated for Saturday, May 4 at historic Metropolitan Baptist Church

From The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

Memphis, TN - Mrs. Maxine A. Smith, a long time civil rights leader and activist, will  be eulogized in a memorial service 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church, located at 767 Walker Avenue, Memphis, TN 38126 (phone: 901-946-4095). Public viewing is from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Mrs. Smith died Friday, April 26, after a long illness complicated by heart problems. She was married to the late Vasco Smith, one of the earliest dentists in the city and one of the first Shelby County Commissioners. She was 83 years old.

Accolades for one of Memphis’ most prominent citizens, who became even more so during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement ,continue to pour in from across the nation. She was a pivotal figure during Memphis public school integration and the Sanitation Strike which brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the city. She served as Executive Secretary of the Memphis NAACP Branch, located at  588 Vance Avenue, (phone: 901-521-1343) and continued to remain active in NAACP activities as well as an activist in the civic affairs of the city and Shelby County, long after retirement.

Mrs. Smith served on various civic and education boards, among them the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The following is a joint statement from Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and Vice Chairman Greg Duckett regarding the passing of Maxine Smith:

"Everyone at the Tennessee Board of Regents is deeply saddened by the loss of such an influential voice for civil rights. Many know Maxine Smith through her service to the NAACP, but don’t realize the great impact she had on higher education. Throughout her 12 years (1994 - 2006) as a Regent, Maxine demonstrated her tireless devotion to ensuring equal opportunities in enrollment, employment and advancement within Tennessee's public higher education institutions. 

“Though we mourn her loss, we are proud to celebrate her legacy and keep her spirit alive through the Maxine Smith Fellows program and by ensuring education remains accessible to the underrepresented and the economically disadvantaged. We also extend our condolences to her son, Vasco Smith III, and hope that the knowledge of the incredible impact his mother had on Tennessee and the enormous love and respect so many had for her brings some small measure of comfort."



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