Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.’s Suspension Ruled Unconstitutional
On June 16, 1969 the United States Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.’s 1967 suspension from congress on charges of alleged corruption. Powell was one of the most powerful congressman in the US House of Representatives prior to his suspension, chairing the Education and Labor Committee. Powell represented Harlem in congress from 1945 to 1971.
He was born on November 29, 1908 in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. was the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York. Under his father’s leadership, the church grew to have the largest Protestant congregation in the United States with 10,000 members. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. followed his father as pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Powell died on April 4, 1972 in Miami, Florida at age 63.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr delivers his “What’s In Your Hand” speech.