Dr. Howard, center, facing camera.
T.R.M. Howard on the front page of the Chicago Defender, March 20, 1943.
It was probably Howard’s favorite joke, oft repeated in his speeches. It concerns the late Senator Theodore G. Bilbo, contacting Mississippi Governor Hugh White from beyond the grave. Bilbo tells White to change his ways concerning his treatment of Mississippi blacks. When White asks Bilbo why the change of heart, Bilbo replies:
“You know, they have a colored fireman down here on 24-hour duty and he’s keeping it hot all the time!”
(“Terror Reigns In Mississippi”, delivered at Sharp Street Methodist Church, Baltimore, MD, October 2, 1955)