"The love that the community has for my husband is very touching," said his wife, Zenobia Black.
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His wife was by his side for four decades, and with her support, he was able to continue his work in his later years.
"Forty years and I miss him so much," she said.
Black was a witness to key moments in modern history. His family was part of the Great Migration north, and after experiencing the sting of racism on Chicago's South Side, he committed his life to calling out and rectifying injustices, always with the sage perspective of history.
"People went to him for advice and he always gave the right advice, and just a beautiful person and will be so missed in so many areas," family friend Melody McDowell said.
"A person you needed to stop by and talk before you did anything, including President Barack Obama," WVON radio host Pam Morris-Walton said.
On the back of her husband's prayer card, Zenobia Black chose a quote from Mahatma Gandhi.
"'The future depends on what we do today,' and I want everyone to know that and strive to make this world, as he would say, a better place," she said.
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A private funeral will be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. and will be live streamed. On Dec. 5, there will be a public memorial at Rockefeller Chapel, the same church which hosted Dr. King at Black's invitation in 1956.
There will also be a public memorial service in December at the University of Chicago.