News Americas, LOS ANGELES, CA, Fri. Oct. 12, 2012: Trinidad-born former Congressman, Mervyn M. Dymally, is set to be laid to rest on October 17th.

The congressman and former California lieutenant governor passed away on October 9th.

Dymally, who blazed trails for generations of African American officeholders, was 86.

A viewing will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Holy Cross Mortuary, 5835 W. Slauson Ave., Culver City in LA on October 17th. His funeral will begin at the same location at 12:30 p.m.

A self-described civil rights champion, Dymally was first elected as a California assemblyman in 1962, just when Trinidad became independent. He rose to become the state’s first black state senator in 1966 and its first and only black lieutenant governor in 1974. In 1980, he won a congressional seat representing Compton and its surrounding area, one of the most solidly Democratic bastions in Los Angeles County.
In Congress, he served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

He was a stalwart for disenfranchised people and struggling communities at home and abroad. He championed economic and humanitarian aid for Africa as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He retired from Congress in 1992 but re-entered state politics at 76, winning the same Assembly seat he held at the start of his political career.

Congresswoman Donna Christensen of the USVI paid tribute to Dymally in her address to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State Of the Industry Conference in St. Kitts on Wednesday night, October 10th.

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