Clarence W. Blount

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Clarence W. Blount
Clarence W. Blount.png
Maryland State Senate 41st District
In office
January, 1971 – January 8, 2003
Constituency Baltimore City
Personal details
Born April 20, 1921
United States North Carolina
Died April 12, 2003(2003-04-12) (aged 81)
Baltimore, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Residence Baltimore, Maryland
Occupation principal, teacher, mentor
Religion Christian

Clarence W. Blount (1921 – 2003) was an American politician who was the first African American to be the majority leader of the Maryland State Senate.

Background[edit]

Clarence Blount was born to Lottie and Charles Johnson Blount Sr., in South Creek, North Carolina. His father worked on a tobacco plantation. His mother died when he was five years old. The Blount family was so poor that they could not afford to buy their children shoes. It was only after the family moved to Baltimore that Clarence Blount was able to begin school at the age of 10.[1] He attended Baltimore City public schools and graduated from Douglass High School and then decided to go to college. One month after Blount entered Morgan State College, he was drafted into the then segregated United States Army to fight in World War II. He served with distinction in Italy as a member of the all-black Buffalo Division of the 92nd Infantry. The courage and dedication to duty that he demonstrated while removing mines from a river passage earned him a battlefield commission. After fighting for his country against both the enemy and the barriers of Jim Crow, Blount returned to Morgan State in 1946 and graduated in 1950 with a B.A. in political science. Blount would later attend The Johns Hopkins University, earning a M.L.A. in 1965. Clarence Blount was a former principal, Dunbar High School, Baltimore, former executive assistant to president, Community College of Baltimore and a member of the Democratic National Committee. He was Delegate to the Democratic Party National Convention in 1988, 1992, 1996 and2000. His list of civic commitments is impressive as well: Member, Maryland Democratic State Central Committee; Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee, Member, Academy of Political and Social Science; Baltimore Urban League; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Alpha Phi Alpha; Gamma Boule. Board of Trustees, Sinai Hospital; Western Maryland College. He was a recipient of the First Citizen Award from the Maryland Senate in 1994 and the Annual Achievement Award from the Maryland Black Caucus Foundation in 2003.

In the Legislature[edit]

Blount was elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1970 to represent Maryland 41st district which was and still is entirely in the boundaries of Baltimore City. In 1983, Senate President Mike Miller chose Senator Blount to be the Majority Leader in the state senate, a post he held until he left office in 2003. During his tenure in the Senate he also served as Chair, Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, from 1987 to 2003. He was also a member, of the Judicial Proceedings Committee from 1971 to 1974, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics from 1972 to 1974, Vice-Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee from 1975 to 1986 and a member of the Executive Nominations Committee from 1975 to 2003. Legislative Policy Committee, 1979-2003 (management subcommittee); Spending Affordability Committee, 1982–2003; Joint Budget and Audit Committee, 1983–97; Rules Committee, 1983-2003. Co-Chair, Joint Committee on State Economic Development Initiatives, 1995–96. Member, Special Joint Committee on Group Homes, 1995–96; Joint Audit Committee, 1997; Special Study Commission on the Maryland Public Ethics Law, 1998; Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, 1999-2003. Senate Chair, Joint Committee on the Port of Baltimore, 2000-03. Co-Chair, Senate Committee on Redistricting, 2001-02. Member, Special Committee on Gaming, 2001-03. Co-Chair, Joint Committee on the Selection of the State Treasurer, 2002. In 1984, Blount was elected chairman Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and served in that capacity until 1986.[2]

Legacy[edit]

Clarence W. Blount Towers, Morgan State University

Clarence W. Blount died April 12, 2003 of complications from a stroke; he was 81. The Clarence W. Blount Towers on the campus of Morgan State University were so named in his honor.[3]

Clarence Blount realized and accepted the truth that our lives do not belong to us alone. He led his life on the principle that he was placed upon this earth to lead others through the same doors to opportunity that he had opened for himself. Clarence Blount was a man whose humility and compassion for others was his greatest strength, an ordinary man called to the extraordinary mission of uplifting other human beings.

Congressman Elijah Cummings

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cummings, Elijah (2003-05-01). "Honoring Senator Clarence W. Blount". United States Congress. Archived from the original on 2007-07-31. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  2. ^ "Senate: Former Senators". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  3. ^ "Blount Residential Towers and Rawlings Hall". Morgan State University. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-30.