A street sign was unveiled Friday, July 12, honoring legendary photographer and Community Journal contributor Harry Kemp, the “Gordon Parks” of Milwaukee’s Black community. Family members and a number of dignitaries from the city and county, including photographers influenced and inspired by Harry, were on hand for the ceremony, which took place in the middle of King Drive. The sign is located across the street from the Community Journal’s offices (where Kemp contributed a multitude of photos for over 30 years) at the corner of King and sixth street. Standing in front of a Milwaukee County Transit Bus (Harry’s preferred mode of transportation to assignments throughout the community) with a picture of the photographer in the front window are his brother and sisters (left to right) Yvonne Kemp, JoAnne Kemp and William Kemp.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 1, at St. Matthews CME Church for Jessie M. Chaney, the wife of the late Milwaukee Branch NAACP President Felmers Chaney. St. Matthews is located at 2944 N. 9th St. Final viewing from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The funeral service itself will start at 10 a.m.
Chaney died Friday, May 24 surrouned by family and friends. She was 91. Chaney was a well known civil rights activist in the Milwaukee Black community for over 70 years. She was an executive committee member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Chaney worked tirelessly for the NAACP supporting such initiatives as the insurance redlining lawsuit that garnered national attention.
As a result of the red-lining discrimination lawsuit, $50,000 was awarded to the Milwaukee NAACP in support of the educational scholarship program for youth. Chaney volunteered numerous hours promoting NAACP membership as well as promoting the annual Freedom Fund Dinner. Chaney also took youth involved with the NAACP to enrichment activities such as horseback riding and bowling.
An avid bowler, Chaney was a member of bowling leagues in the Milwaukee area for over 60 consecutive years. She retired after 36 years of service from Allis Chalmers.
For Chaney, working hard, family, and traveling was what life was all about. Chaney was remembered by family and freinds for her boundless optimism, friendliness and graciousness. A perfectionist, Chaney took great care in preparing holiday meals and always invited seniors in the community who had no where else to go.
Chaney was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 70 years, Felmers O. Chaney, mother, Artha L. Martin; Jessie James Jones, father and Ruby Skinner, sister. She leaves to cherish her memory: Debra L. Skinner, niece; Dr. Sharon F. Skinner, niece and a host of loving relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the NAACP Milwaukee Branch, 2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. Milwaukee, WI 53212.